Friday, June 15, 2018

     This life lesson happened just yesterday as I was weeding in my "Son Garden" by the patio.
Do you remember this gorgeous picture of the my treasured butterfly bush from a Facebook post last September? The bush was given to me by my dear, sweet friend, Diana Hoffman, when Jared died - the story of why a butterfly bush will come. The lavender on the right was also beautiful! I loved to sit in the chair and watch the butterflies, bees and hummingbirds play around both of them. Very relaxing!! But how do you get 'Praise God I'm Alive" from a butterfly bush?!

 Well, this is what I had left at the beginning of  May this year. I wanted to cry. There were some buds on it that had died - probably from the warm spell back in March and then freezing weather again. There were a few green sprouts along the bottom. I'm not ashamed to say that I prayed it wouldn't die. 

   In this 3rd picture, taken yesterday, the bigger plants in the front are the purple asters and the little one in the back is my butterfly bush - a lot different than in September. Look what this long, hard winter had done to it.
     As I was weeding around it guess what I said...'Praise God, it's alive!' I couldn't look at how much smaller it was - I was just happy it was alive.  There's hope. This long hard winter had taken it's toll on my butterfly bush but it was going to make it. It will take some time and nurturing but I believe it will be stronger with a greater root system to with stand whatever may come in the future.
    This is when I felt the presence of the Lord and said, 'Praise God, I'm Alive!' This butterfly bush is no different than you and me. We go through long, difficult seasons in life in which we may not look or feel like there is any life or hope left. That's when we say 'Praise God I'm alive!' Those are the times that our root systems of faith grow. In those times we don't feel any different but God is working in us a deeper strength and trust in Him. He will love and nurture us. He may even carry us because we have no strength left of our own. He will never leave or forsake His own.
     When we're in the midst of a difficult season we need to feed our spirits on the Word of God! 
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 says,' We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; cast down but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.'
Some times we wonder if it will ever end. This morning I was reading in Lisa Bevere's book Without Rival  and on page 111 - 'It was in exile and barren rocky expanses that David learned the lessons that would prepare him to be a king after God's own heart.' That was about 8 years of David's life! Life takes time.
    In preparing to wash my windows yesterday I put on my Mandisa CD, What If We Were Real - yes, I still use CDs!! The first song is Stronger. It is one of the songs I played over and over after Jared died. I got that CD when I went to buy another one of hers - Overcomer, which is another 'Life Lesson'. If you are in a 'winter' season or coming out of one, please take the time to listen to it. It is uplifting and encouraging.

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