Ever Blooming Promise

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.

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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.

Isaiah 35.

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.

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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.

Seeing His Face

His little voice chirped it up and down the aisles, his buckled-in body swaying in happy time to the call, “Miss June, where ARE you?”

The week before, our winding pilgrimage to the checkout had been enlivened by an extra-friendly face:  Miss June in all her cheerful glory.  We had a nice chat, and Ezekiel must have registered that his nursery room teacher lived in Walmart as well as the room at church with Noah’s ark painted on the wall.

So now, bored with the monotony of boxes, bags, bottles, and cans, he called out to the sunshine.  I’m here!  Come see me!  I love you!  Seeing her face had changed things.

I hold the lesson close.  In the daily pilgrimage from breakfast to dinner, through school lessons, laundry, dishes, etc., let me reach up my arms and sing-song to my savior.  I’m here!  Come see me!  I love you!  In the process of raising up a team of prayer warriors and financial supporters for our work in Costa Rica, let me keep my eyes more on His promise to provide for us than the pledges coming in on commitment cards.  We are around 40% funded and just over 3 months away from our departure.  Sometimes that feels like a fist-pump of celebration, and sometimes the miles stretch long to the finish line.  Yet each new family on our contact list and each blessing toward our journey is a glimpse of the sunshine of His presence, a smile from our Abba Father.

Miss June may not have been at Walmart that day, but the Lord is always near.  So I will keep looking for Him because seeing His face changes everything.

Looking to the Promise

” . . .I have put my hope in your word.  My eyes are straining to see your promises come true.”  Psalm 119: 81b, 82