…From the captivating Mrs. BoomerJeff:
I have been struggling with losses from this economy for five years. The California economy began to deteriorate, our small business began to struggle, and our retirement investments began to disappear in 2007. That summer a wildfire roared through a huge area near our neighborhood leaving lots of black stubble and ash in its path.
A few months later, as I drove through the miles of blackened fields and burned out homes I realized it was metaphoric of what had raged through the California economy. Then, something caught my eye. I stopped my car, turned around, and went back for a closer look at what I had seen.
As I got out of the car and looked over the field, I had this sensation of being on a distant planet or moon. No birds singing…no crickets chirping…there was just dry, crunchy, burned out remnants of the life that had once been. But there in the middle of it was what had caught my eye as I drove by. Peeking out of the charred ruins was a tiny purple flower with 2 fresh green leaves.
That courageous flower stood proudly, as if it didn’t even notice that it was overcoming all odds to stand as a model of HOPE. The power of the presence of God so grabbed me as I saw that glimpse of HOPE in the burned rubble, that tears welled in my eyes. I felt the grief of my own burned out life begin to pour out and be exchanged for the courage of that tiny flower!
God is always with us no matter how burned out our surroundings appear to be. Life imitates nature and it sure did for me that day. God’s restoration was beginning to take over that huge scene of devastation with the blossoming of that one tiny flower.
Through the prophet Zechariah, God said, “Return to your fortress OH PRISONERS of HOPE! I announce today that I will RESTORE twice what you have lost!” That little flower was a Prisoner of Hope! With courage it stood, announcing that God keeps his promise! Today, five years later, there is a whole bush of purple flowers where that one first peeked out of the ashes.
Many of us need to be proud blossoms and Prisoners of Hope, allowing God to show His greatness as He keeps his promise to RESTORE twice what we have lost in this recession. It is depressing to lose so much, but our times of greatest growth come after our times of greatest loss. We may not know just how to blossom and bloom, but neither does a flower. The flower is just available. God does the rest.
We mean so much more to God than flowers!! He will bring the bloom if we can lay down our grief and become available and willing to bloom!
My husband reads stories to me of our great military heroes who touch his heart. Recently he read about 27 yr old Capt. Dan Luckett, who lost his left foot and right lower leg and foot when a bomb ripped through his Humvee on a Baghdad street on Mother’s Day in 2008. Less than a year later, fitted with prosthetic limbs, he earned his Expert Infantryman Badge for the 2nd time, running, 12 miles in under 3 hours with a 35-pound pack.
Today Capt. Luckett is back on duty, by his choice and dedication to America and his fellow troops! Now that is a purple flower for sure. He leaves his grief behind and goes back to inspire others.
Nothing is more inspiring than to see someone overcome in the face of seemingly impossible odds and yet remain positive, encouraging, and loving to others. Did you know there are more than 40 soldiers who have already lost limbs serving again on the field of battle defending freedom?
The very least we can do here on the home front, is to arise from our economic rubble and raise the banner of HOPE for American once again! We don’t need to know how. God is with us! We just need to be willing and available and to let go of our anger and blame. God brings the bloom! Sometimes I think I’m a wimp for whining about all I have lost financially in this recession. Many in this world are facing bombs and guns today would gladly trade places with me!
We who are at home have a responsibility to stand up in our rubble and become Prisoners of Hope. We must keep the lights on in America so that our troops know that we are worthy of their sacrifices to defend us. They need to see something bright and alive as they look in our direction.
I will be a tiny purple flower in the midst of my burned out field, inviting the Lord to shine through me and attract others to bloom again too. Won’t you join me? Lay down your anger. Give up your depression. See what opportunities God might be bringing into your life to “restore to you twice what you have lost”.
It takes just a little FAITH to focus on the HOPE that will RESTORE! Don’t wait for someone else to bloom first. We bloom at different times and they might be watching you for their inspiration.
Let go of the old dead leaves and petals….God wants to show you His power to create a new BLOOM so He can shine through you to brighten your corner of America! Bloom wherever God has planted you! Keep the home front shining bright with HOPE ! Our military heroes need it and deserve it! God will be with you as you arise and do a new thing!
Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.