House abloom

Our house is full of flowers at the moment. Another precious sign of the love of God's people, family and friends. We have had to import some vases because we ran out of places to put them! Any more, and our fish (Splish and Splosh) will be getting some company!!

I have sometimes wondered, when I was on the "other side" and those I knew were grieving, how flowers made them feel. Is it a continual reminder of loss that makes them sad? A reminder of the love of friends that makes them glad? Or just a bit of colour that brightens the room and lifts the spirit? (Girls: You'll have to excuse me; being a bloke I have never really received many flowers before! So forgive me if I don't get it.)

For me, it is a reminder of the love and thoughts of others, and so, very welcome. But it has also made me think of something more prophetic: "The wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy." (Isa 35) It's a promise of restoration; of sadness being replaced with joy, and emptiness with abundance.

Isaiah 35
The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendour of our God.

Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way;say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you."

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

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