Happy Easter everybody! My prayer is that you and your family and friends have a blessed day celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Leading up to this special day, I and two old friends went on retreat, beginning Good Friday afternoon. We had twenty-four hours to rest and relax, and receive some refreshment at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center in Greenwich (NY).
Saturday morning, I sat gazing on a hillside, no green yet, just shades of brown. I had taken several photographs because to me, it was lovely. I sat down and began to meditate. Looking upon the landscape, I asked [myself and] God, “Why am I so taken with this view? Has your Spirit led me here?”
I sensed the Spirit respond,
“I take dry, desolate things and give them new life.”
“Is this for me?” I thought. “For someone I love?” Yes, came the answer, because of course, we all experience dryness at some time, and yes, lately, I had.
Often dryness, even death of some sort, proceeds life, as in the word picture of seeds that must die before they can bear fruit. And of course, there is Jesus. He went to a desolate place–a tortured, isolated death on a cross, followed by burial in a rocky tomb. But beautiful, precious life resulted. He came to life so that we, from the midst of our lonely, sin-wrecked lives, can come to life, because of his sacrificial death and resurrection.
But sometimes, after we’ve experienced the new life, we suffer a terrible loss–a death, a separation, an illness, a (fill-in-the-blank). Life feels barren and desolate. But today I distinctly heard the Spirit say, “He brings life to those places, too.”
David, in Psalm 92:12 writes, “The righteous [through Christ] will flourish like a palm tree; they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon.” When I opened my Bible, after the Spirit spoke to my heart about bringing life, it was this exact scripture that appeared before my eyes. A scriptural confirmation of what I felt the Spirit had said to me.
“The righteous flourish.” What a lovely verb, flourish, meaning to grow lush and productive. I heard the Spirit saying that out of dry, barrenness, life would arise. These words give me hope. If you are in a spiritually dry place, I pray they do for you as well.