The Lord will comfort Israel again
and have pity on her ruins.
Her desert will blossom like Eden,
her barren wilderness like the garden of the Lord.
Joy and gladness will be found there.
Songs of thanksgiving will fill the air. Isaiah 51:3 NLT
This trilogy of prose and poems is for anyone this Valentines Day that is walking with a wounded heart.
You may struggle to believe it today, but God has no intention of leaving you wounded in the wilderness.
On the contrary, you will someday look back on these days of wilderness wandering, and you will marvel at what God has brought you to, and through!
I prophesy to you today:
God Always Begins Small
My first writing began with the smallest of seeds.
It was 1991, and I had just begun writing for my women’s ministry newsletter on a monthly basis.
I was definitely a newbie to this writing thing, because I had zero confidence, that my writing would ever amount to anything but a small (and a very temporary,) diversion from my bigger plans.
I saw myself in the sole terms of my administrative gifts.
To think of myself as a “creative” back then, never entered my mind.
So, when the head of our Women’s Ministry came to me, and told me that the theme for that year’s women’s banquet was a garden theme, I thought, “Yeah, okay. So what’s that got to do with me?”
She further explained, “Each table will have a potted flowering plant for their centerpiece, and I want an original, garden poem, to be placed in the center of each potted plant. I want you to write it.”
I smiled and thought, “No way. I am not a poet.”
I told her, “I have never written a poem.”
She smiled back at me, and said, “Write one.”
I was a little miffed. That I had to do this extra project when my plate was already plenty FULL.
Furthermore, she only gave me a few days to produce said poem.
So, I thought, “Okay… it won’t be good… but I’ll try to do it.”
(I had no idea God was up to some major changes to my plans.)
And so, “Voila!”
I dashed off this little ditty:
The Garden Of My Heart
I am your own creation Lord,
The flower that you’ve made.
And I’ll bloom where you have put me;
In sunshine or in shade.
I’ll trust you as my Gardener,
I won’t holler or complain.
I’ll not quiver–but I’ll “be still”
And in Your will remain.
If time comes for You to move me,
Then I know You know what’s best;
I’ll love You and I’ll trust You,
Whatever trial or test;
‘Cause it’s your will that I want Lord.
Only You know all the ways.
To bring out the glorious flowers,
Of all my life’s planned days.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 KJV
And then? I promptly forgot about writing anymore poetry.
(Boy, was I in for a few unexpected surprises!)
Wounded Heart & Wilderness Days
I wrote a post back in August of 2018 titled Trashed To Treasured.
I concluded it by saying…
Our lives do get trashed sometimes.
Our worship may be weak, wobbling, and full of doubts.
Ah, but doesn’t the Bible say that God chooses the foolish things?
But God chose those whom the world considers foolish to shame those who think they are wise, and God chose the puny and powerless to shame the high and mighty. He chose the lowly, the laughable in the world’s eyes—nobodies—so that he would shame the somebodies. For he chose what is regarded as insignificant in order to supersede what is regarded as prominent, so that there would be no place for prideful boasting in God’s presence. 1 Corinthians 1: 27-29 TPT
Let us not forget, even among the weakest of God’s worshipers–there be mighty lions in the making. (read whole post)
Uh-huh, that’s right,
Think it not strange that He takes you into a Wilderness.
“God takes everyone he loves through a desert. It is his cure for our wandering hearts, restlessly searching for a new Eden… The best gift of the desert is God’s presence… The protective love of the Shepherd gives me courage to face the interior journey.”― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life
(The following is the opening I wrote for my first book manuscript written in 2001)
BLOSSOMS IN THE DESERT
Strange place to plant a garden…
In a desert?
Still, nobody could ever say God doesn’t have a flair for the dramatic.
God loves to do the spectacular! The impossible!
Creating light out of darkness. Making a man out of dust. Painting the first rainbow. Parting an impassable sea.
Yes, God definitely loves a good miracle.
So, why should I be surprised if He allows my life to become as barren as the Sahara, and then… decides to grow flowers there!
It still sounds a little crazy to me.
Does it sound crazy to you too?
Yeah… but that’s what He did!
He buried me in a dark desert land.
(I thought I’d die.)
There were days I wanted to.
But, He wouldn’t let me—give up that is.
He won’t let you either. Even though, right now, you may want to.
God is going to do something splendid in that wilderness of yours.
(You’re in His favorite classroom.)
He does His best work in vast barren places and dark empty spaces.
He’s got you there for a purpose. A special purpose!
He’s going to make a miracle out of you.
Yeah, I know. You see only a wasteland. But, someday, when you least expect it? You’re going to find that while you were counting sand dunes? God was planting roses!
How do I know that?
You need to follow me…
And, you need to bring your desperate thirsty heart.
“… Come, and meet a man who told me everything I ever did!”
Bring all your doubts and unbelief.
Don’t forget your impossible dreams.
He’s going to change everything!
If you will come,
And you will listen…
Even the wilderness and desert will rejoice in those days; the desert will blossom with flowers. Isaiah 35: 1 The Living Bible
In his book The Wild Ones, author Nate Johnston closes his chapter, Wounded Warriors, with this:
Being wounded is inevitable, but it’s not where we stay. Your key from the outset is that you aren’t faulty or a failure for being wounded in your journey, it just means you are human, but Jesus took those wounds for you, and you can give them to Him and move on.
I never believed for a minute that I would someday celebrate my wilderness days, much less, be thankful for them.
Then, I wrote New Song #7.
NEW SONG #7 ~ The Warrior
Oh, Abba! What words can I write
To sing new songs of sweetest praise?
To tell of victories in the night
And how a victor’s shout is raised?
Who is this? Her brow so bloodied?
Coming out of desert grim?
What has happened to this warrior?
Who will hear her soldier’s hymn?
Soft she sings—as hard she leans
Her Savior only strength and shield
From darkest battle’s she has gleaned
Truth, that Freedom’s sword will yield,
Only when the battle’s over!
Only when the victory’s won!
A warrior never quits, or surrenders,
‘Til Father whispers, “It is done!”
Not ’til then can sword be rested
Not ’til victory has been found
Not ’til soldiers metal tested
And enemy’s surrendered Holy ground!
She turns and lifts her sword now skyward
To honor her Father’s Holy Word
Remembering day when He first called her
Broken Vessel—so absurd!
And now scarred lips and heart once broken
Gladly she lays at nail-scarred feet
Here to sing! Her Victor’s token!
Her song declares—enemy’s defeat!
She raises voice in song of praise
To tell of desert battles won!
Her sword surrendered at His feet
A Freedom Fighter she’s become!
You are in His favorite classroom.
It’s only meant to be a temporary stay.
You will come up out of this.
And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy you with all good things, and keep you healthy too; and you will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Isaiah 58:11 TLB