Resurrecting Life

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:

 

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(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 dieJohn 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,

Amen.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

I am linking with:

#LMMLinkup

#TellHisStory

#Teaandword

#TuneinThursday

#Grace&Truth

 

 

 

36 thoughts on “Resurrecting Life

    1. Thank you so much Wendi! It’s good to be back, slowly entering into community again! I am truly thankful for this beautiful community that gathers at these digital connecting places! Blessings to you!

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  1. Bettie, I think you are the only person I know who ever described death as “winning” the fight with cancer. Just a beautiful thought. I am sorry August is such a heavy month of loss. That is December for me. But oh how wonderful He gave us a plan to remind us of His power.

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    1. Dear Julie, I’m sure the phrase is not original with me–but it is such a wonderful thought, isn’t it? When my brother and my parents entered through that veil, I had such an assurance of what Christ had won for them! Even when the hard grieving days came, that precious thought would not leave me. And still, on these heavy days, Jesus is so precious to remind me and make sure that I don’t forget! I’m so glad that He gives us sisters in His body to pray for each other. Thank you so much dear friend! Blessings to you!

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  2. Welcome back, Bettie. Thank you for sharing these hope-filled resurrection truths in God’s Word, your message and prayer, your brother’s photo, and the song. The lessons God teaches us through His creation are so amazing. This entire post moves me to tears as I ask Jesus to allow Him to also “lift my eyes to see this life through the lens of HIS hope.” May God strengthen and sustain you! Love and hugs to you!

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    1. Dear Trudy, Thank you for your encouragement and prayers! Isn’t our God’s creation amazing? It seems there are lessons everywhere we turn if we keep our eyes open. I love the ways that we can share that love of His nature together! I always look forward to reading about the lessons that He teaches you there also. I am so thankful that you were touched by Him here. His presence is so sweet to point us to His sustaining strength! Love and Hugs to you too!

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  3. Oh, sweet friend! August must seem like a very sad time of reflection for you. And, yet, that precious memory of your dear Mom being with you in your home when you got the sad news about your brother~that along with the lily…sweet, precious reminders from our Lord that this life is not all there is. I have missed you so much and am so thankful you are back. I do trust your break brought a refreshing to your spirit and body, and I continue to pray for you, dear friend. You are such a dear blessing, and your presence is surely missed when you aren’t here. God be with you and wrap HIs loving arms of comfort around you as you remember your dear Mom and brother.

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    1. Dear Cheryl, Oh you are a blessing and encouragement to me dear friend! It is such a gift from the Lord to be able to be part of this sweet community of His people in this digital space. After a long & difficult month, I am still not sure what the future holds, but those loving arms of His comfort that you spoke of, really are my support and sufficiency. He is so near and dear to us while we are here, and to our loved ones who are on the other side of the veil with Him there. What a day that will be when we will all be together! Thank you for your sweet words and prayers. Love and Hugs to you!

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  4. It’s so good to see you writing again. I love your thoughts on resurrecting our barren places. God promises to do this and loves nothing more than to redeem and renew. As we move into August and you remember your mom and brother I sense a peace and hope n your words. It brings me hope too. I also will be remembering my dad the end of this month. But I’m left with a renewed sense of hope from your words today. I hope you will link this up tomorrow at #TellHisStory.

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    1. Dear Mary, Thank you for your sweet encouragement! Yes, I do hope to be able to join up at the #TellHIsStory linkup tomorrow. I have been so blessed when I’ve peeked in there, knowing that you have carried on that precious community! He does give us such hope, doesn’t He? I am grateful that we can pray for each other this month as we miss those ones who have gone on before us. His peace is such a gift whenever we miss them. Blessings and Hugs to you!

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  5. I could feel the joy in your heart in your writing. I loved this post, for it reminds me that death is not the end of the story. I really liked the idea that your brother won his fight, although he died. That’s a different way to look at death, as victory, that many people would have a hard time seeing. Thank you. Regina

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    1. Dear Regina, Oh yes, I am so glad that you could rejoice in that way of looking at death too. It reminds me of Paul’s words, “but thanks be to God who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We do hurt and grieve, but even in the missing there is a sense from the Lord that there is so much more waiting for us. I appreciate your encouragement so much! Blessings to you!

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    1. Dear Wendy, Thank you for your beautiful encouragement. It means a lot to me coming from someone who is such a lover of nature, and a listener to the Father’s lessons through His creation. I am glad to be sharing this digital community with you again! Blessings to you!

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    1. Yes, aren’t they such beautiful flowers? I know they have several other names–that’s the way with the common names we assign to flowers. But those botanical names are so hard to remember! I love the description that fits with this name. It really is such a blessing. I’m thankful to be able to be back sharing here again–it’s all God’s strength! Blessings to you!

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  6. I loved the way you described your brother’s death as “winning the battle” with cancer. You are 100% correct, though very few, even Christians, realize how true that is.
    These words are convincing:
    “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39

    I’ve tried commenting on your blog in several ways, but all comments have disappeared. I don’t have WordPress, apart from this Reader site where the blogs I follow turn up. We’ll see if this comment reaches its goal! If so, maybe others can try having a free WordPress account too.

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    1. Oh Lisa, I love those Scriptures that you shared. They are such a firm foundation in our hope and trust of Jesus’ life for us! So often the enemy tries to cloud our view with only what’s right in front of us. But even there, God continues to speak to us about the beauty of His resurrection. Thank you so much for being persistent to leave a comment here! I’m so glad that this one came through! Blessings and love to you my Dear Sister.

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  7. I am weeping Bettie. These words are so so beautiful: “Where it looked like death had surely come to reign, life suddenly appears.” And oh the touch of heaven in that resurrection lily blooming that very day and for God to fill your heart with joy again through your brother. He is just so intimate and tender in His love for us. Thank you for these beautiful, beautiful words from the heart of Jesus in you. You bless me so much.

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    1. Dear Anna, Oh yes, He is so intimate and tender in His love for us! I want to keep my heart open to receive more of His promptings. I am so thankful that He knows the tearing away that death brings to us, but He wants us to see the beauty of life that He has created for us. You always bless me with the way that you are so open to His Word my dear friend. Thank you for the ways that you bring such encouragement to me! Blessings, love and hugs!!

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  8. I love lilies but had no idea what those were called. They will forever be special to me because I will remember your story. I love you describing your brothers battle with cancer as a “win” as he stepped into heaven. For that truly is how we should see it. No more pain or sickness or suffering but face to face with the Savior. September is my hard month for a few reasons but your encouragement gives me a new hope as I am weeks away from too many anniversaries of loss in my life. Thank you so much for this post. It is exactly what my heart needed tonight.

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    1. Oh I am so thankful that the Lord brought you encouragement here tonight. He really does understand how heavy those times of loss become in our lives. But His Words give us such hope! And then when He paints a picture for us, to make His Words come alive, what a gift. I will pray for your September to be filled with His hope this year. May you feel His peace with you throughout the days!

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  9. Bettie, Beautiful words. I love the thought that your brother’s prayers were answered and he was cured of cancer in heaven. I am so sorry for your many losses. May this month treat you well with a flooding of great memories of your Mom and Brother. I would love to have you join our link-up this Friday with your post. It is one that needs to be shared. Pinning it to one of my boards.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts here. I appreciate your prayers and encouragement so much.Yes, I pray that as those days approach, I would remember the words of Hope that Jesus planted in me! His truth about His gift of eternity is so precious. And thank you so much for sharing this! Yes, I will surely try to join in your link up on Friday. I am so thankful for God’s connections and community!

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  10. Thank you for this uplifting post. I need a resurrection of self-forgiveness in my life. I know Christ has forgiven me an the Blood has covered my sin, but Satan is really beating me up about a recent failure. I have thought about writing about it, but am still praying over it. Thanks for being such a valuable member of the #LMMLinkup.

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    1. Dear Mary, Yes, isn’t it so hard to let go and forgive ourselves? That enemy speaks such sly taunts to us, and I don’t know why it seems to be easier to listen to those lies than the true heart of our loving Father! I will be praying for you, and asking God to give you wisdom for when and how to share. I know that I have been so encouraged by your open heart of sharing, Mary. You are a blessing to so many! May you feel His resurrecting power within you today!

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    1. Oh, I am glad I could introduce you to a new kind of lily! They really are beautiful flowers. I am so thankful that God finds ways to speak to us and to point us to Himself and His truth. Blessings to you!

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  11. Dear Bettie, this is so beautiful, immensely moving, precious and powerful! I think it’s my new favourite. I love the way you have written it and I’m also delighted to see you back to blogging again after your break. I’ve not heard of the resurrection lily before. What a marvel it is! May you continue to be filled with resurrection hope as you negotiate dark seasons of illness and pain. Blessings and love. xoxo ❤

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    1. Dear Joy,
      Oh what a precious word of encouragement you bring to my heart! I have missed sharing our spaces together in this digital gathering, my friend! Thank you for your prayers, they mean so much to me. Yes, it is His hope of resurrection that stirs and moves us forward in these dark days, isn’t it? I’m not sure if these lilies are as common there in British gardens as they are here. But what a treat to be able to share them with each other through these photos! They are such a gift! And I am so grateful for the gift of your friendship also! Blessings, love and hugs to you! xoxo

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  12. Bettie, we can grow a wide variety of lillies here but I haven’t seen or heard of the resurrection lily before. Our garden hosts the lily of the Nile, also known as agapanthus. I love the purplish blue flowers they produce. Flowers are a wonderful gift to us, as is sharing about them on our blogs! As you can see, I am slowly returning to my writing spaces and beginning to engage again after my lengthy break. I appreciate your words and your friendship so much! xox 🌸💜

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    1. Oh I love those agapanthus lilies, but they aren’t hardy here, and must be overwintered inside if one wants to keep them. Thank you for giving me another glimpse into your lovely garden and your days there! I’m so thankful we can keep praying for each other across the miles, dear friend! xoxo

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