"The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the rose, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God." ~ Isaiah 35:1-2
"I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them. I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily." ~ Hosea 14:4-5
The Garden ...
As you enter into the Rose Garden, walk around. Take in the beauty, the order, the colors, the roses in bloom and the ones still waiting. Remember that the human story started out in a beautiful garden, ordered and full of everything needed.
Genesis 2:15 above tells us that 'work' was a gift given to us before the fall. Even now, in our broken world, work is redeemable and redeemed. The efforts of those who have worked on this rose garden, digging and weeding and pruning, is evidence of the beauty and blessing that comes from embracing tasks and opportunities, even when they involve some sweat and strain. Are you embracing work? Talk to God about it."Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there He put the man He had formed. ...A river watering the garden flowed from Eden. ...The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." ~ Genesis 2:8, 10, 15
Imagine God as the gardener here, and you are one of the bushes He planted and delights in. You may be small and not blooming much now. You may be full of color and flowers, but a time may be coming soon when you'll need to be pruned back, so healthier and deeper things can happen and grow up in you. Think about where you are in your life.
As you pray -
... thank God that you are in His garden, His family, grafted into the vine of Christ - rescued and cared for by Him
... share gratitude for the things that are blooming now in your life
... confess sorrow for any pride, when it's God who raised you up and 'bloomed' you after all
... confess fears about the unknowns
... confess frustrations about the waiting you're tired of doing ('Where are the flowers?' 'Why am I still so small?')
... ask for help with the 'weeds' that are around you
Finally, look at the fountain in the center of the garden. Consider this verse from Jesus:
Thank God for the refreshing, never-ending gifts of His presence in your life. Ask Him to help you live out all that you have and are in Him.""...Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." ~ John 4:14
I hope you've enjoyed this Journey of Prayer - in a few weeks, I'm planning to go on my own Journey of Prayer throughout each of my days and hope you will join me in sharing from your own journeys.