Far down a desert road, far from the swarms of people crowding Bryce and Zion and the other big attractions, far from just about anything and anyone else, we pulled over and got out. Beneath us was parched ground, above us a vicious sky, before us a towering cactus. And there, under the dark clouds, there against the stark desert, there before the sharp thorns, we gazed at the bright beauty of gentle, precious flowers. We saw flowers in the desert that told of the might of their Maker.
God has created this world in such a way that there is some kind of flower that blooms in almost every kind of condition. We are never far from displays of his beauty, tokens of his mercy, reminders of his creative genius. And just as God suits flowers to every climate, he suits Christians to every circumstance. No matter what unfolds around us and no matter what is done to us, we are able to bloom for him—to display the truest love, the greatest gentleness, the highest reaches of Christian character.
Like flowers in a botanical garden, professionally guarded and perfectly groomed, we bloom in times of tender care and great ease. When all is well, we display the goodness and glory of our God.
Like flowers in the desert, we bloom when it seems we have been abandoned. Even when circumstances are as sore as we can imagine, even when it seems like we are being deprived of the very stuff of life, even when our very souls feel dry and barren, we continue to serve and to worship.
Like flowers on a mountaintop, we bloom in circumstances where it seems like the conditions must surely be too harsh. Far beyond the point where it seems that spiritual life should be sustainable, far beyond the point where hearts break and faith fails, we survive and even thrive.
Like flowers along the edge of a landfill, we bloom even when surrounded by the muck and mire of the world. Just as a flower can remain bright and unsullied by the mess around it, we can remain unstained by the anger, clamor, and filth of a depraved world. Though we may be growing in a landfill, we are never of that landfill.
Like flowers on the edge of a volcano, we bloom amidst the heat of the most fiery trials. With eruptions of persecution exploding around us, with the hot lava of reviling flowing beside us, still we think God’s thoughts, still we speak God’s words, still we act as God’s emissaries. Still we are faithful and true to him.
God has created flowers for the forests and jungles, the mountaintops and wetlands, the plains and deserts, the peaks and valleys. Everywhere they declare his glory. And just so, God has saved his people to display his glory and sing his praises in every time, every trial, every situation, every circumstance. No matter our surroundings, no matter our context, no matter our joys or sorrows, we must, and by his grace we can, bloom for him.