One big perk of living in Costa Rica is that something is always in bloom. Always. Sometimes it’s a dramatic show, turning the rough pavement into paradise. Sometimes it’s just overgrown bedding plants that winter never came to kill.
If I take time to look, I will find color between the green leaves and blue sky.
This was a promise given, a whisper from the Lord across the stormy surface of my pre-missionary heart. Sitting in a chair and a bedroom that have long since been sold, wrapped in a blanket now stored in a barn, I wept. And listened. And heard.
The reference meant nothing to me. I am better with experiences than addresses. The impression stuck, and I opened the pages.
Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.
The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.
Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers
and singing and joy!
The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon,
as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.
There the Lord will display his glory,
the splendor of our God.
With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
and encourage those who have weak knees.
Say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
He is coming to save you.” Isaiah 35:1-4 NLT
I understood what God was saying. I just didn’t particularly like it in that moment. I wanted to be able to obey without the desert and the wilderness. I wanted to see blooms and his glory without the journey.
“Okay, God, but that doesn’t make me feel any better.”
Said the girl with the promise of God’s beauty for the dry places, his strength in my weakness.
The girl who trusted that the Lord, like Aslan in Narnia, may not be safe, but he is good.
This is a promise kept, a warm breeze of love through the whole of my missionary heart. Sitting in a chair on a rented balcony, looking out at a valley where we serve, I smile. And look. And see colors.
I don’t need the address now. It’s my home.
How about you? Is there a promise you are waiting to bloom? Or one fulfilled that colors your life? I would love to hear about it. Please leave a comment and share your story with us.