During the middle of my blogging break last month my brother sent me a photo from his garden and said, “maybe you can use this on your blog, when you talk about resurrection?” And I knew the words that would be so fitting for this graphic:
(photo courtesy of my brother, Don Dohm)
Are you familiar with the Resurrection Lily? A member of the Amaryllis family, this plant, the Lycoris squamigera, was one of my Mom’s favorite summer flowers. She loved it not just because it happened to be her favorite color, pink, but also because of the symbolism that this flower represented.
In the early spring, Resurrection Lilies’ wide strappy leaves beautifully fill up empty spaces at around the same time that the daffodils are blooming. But these lilies do not bloom when their leaves appear. No, their leaves begin to wilt just as most of the lush blooms of June fill the garden. The heat of July presses on, and if you haven’t marked the spot where those lilies were, you might forget, because the leaves totally shrivel up and disappear. Just when the heat of the summer seems to burn away many of the more sensitive flowers, a small but strong shoot appears in the center of the brown, bare earth. The lily stalk shoots up, much stronger than those early leaves ever were, and one day those beautiful pink blooms burst open. Where it looked like death had surely come to reign, life suddenly appears.
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die” John 11:25 NIV
When my brother sent me his photo, he remembered the thoughts of “Resurrection” that were stirred in my Mom.
How could I not also remember? Because you see, August is the month that both my Mom and my middle brother went to be with Jesus.
My Mom was staying with us when we received the phone call that my brother had won his long fight with cancer, and had stepped over into Heaven. On that very day, my own Resurrection Lilies burst into bloom. As my Mom and I shared our tears, we knew that Jesus was speaking to us those same words that He had uttered to Lazarus’ sisters as He stood at the tomb where Lazarus lay, wrapped in his gravecloths.
As surely as Jesus called Lazarus forth, one day He will call all of us who believe in Him. Just as the bare earth prepares a place for those lovely pink lilies to shine, this bare earth of flesh and blood has been preparing the place for us to shine in the Kingdom of our Lord.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” John 11:25-27 NIV
In these days when hope seems to have all but disappeared, and chaos rules the land, I have been given a picture that points me to a window of true hope. This barren earth is not all there is. I have been planted here for only a season, growing and waiting for the resurrection of life when Jesus calls my name. OH what joy fills my heart when I let Him lift my eyes to see this life through the lens of HIS hope.
Are your eyes open?
Can you see Him planting life in your barren, earthy places?
Will you join me in prayer today?
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for opening the way before us, for bringing life where only death had reigned. Thank You for showing us that this world is only temporary, and You have won the gift of eternity for us. Oh, Lord cleanse our eyes when all we can see is the chaos and despair in front of us. Will You show us the true beauty that YOUR own resurrection has given to us? And will You stir up within our hearts the true hope, the Blessed Hope of Your appearing, when You will call us to be with You.
In Your Precious Name we pray,
Oh may we join with these beautiful verses, and acknowledge the resurrection power of Jesus alive in our hearts even here, in the barren, brown earth. He has LIFE for us today!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
As I take joy in finding my words being stirred up here again, I wonder what deep mercies are at work in this place of resurrection.
Where will the new life suddenly spring up?
How will HE resurrect the things long thought dead in my life?
I am so thankful to be back here with you my friends. I would be so honored to pray with you over those dead, barren spaces in your own life too.
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