The {bent down, storm beaten, left for dead} First Bloom

You know we were hit with that freak hail storm a couple of weeks ago… There we were in shorts and t-shirts picking up golf ball sized chunks of ice from the yard (you can see pics in this post over here). Strange juxtaposition. I was so sad to see the garden I’d literally just [minutes before] been working on get pummeled and shredded.

…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning…

Sometimes life is like that. You are cruising along, all systems go. Everything’s comin’ up roses. Then suddenly the sunny skies cloud over and destruction comes.

…and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness…

Sometimes God allows us to be brought low so He can lift us up. The juxtaposition of two opposing images brings emphasis. Beauty from ashes.

…a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor (Isaiah 61:3).

Doesn’t it just seem right that the first blossom on this storm-tattered hydrangea bush–in fact the first bloom of the whole front garden–is the one at the end of this weather-bent stem? This one stem especially looked bent, broken, and done. Beyond repair. Past the point of redemption.

But God wasn’t finished yet. He’s in the business of breathing life into dead things.

So, have you ever been there, pressed but not crushed?

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