The Whole Countryside


What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations. Oh, look—the deep, wide sea, brimming with fish past counting, sardines and sharks and salmon. Ships plow those waters, and Leviathan, your pet dragon, romps in them. All the creatures look expectantly to you to give them their meals on time. You come, and they gather around; you open your hand and they eat from it. If you turned your back, they’d die in a minute— Take back your Spirit and they die, revert to original mud; Send out your Spirit and they spring to life— the whole countryside in bloom and blossom.

—Psalm 104:24-30

The Message


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At the Heart


Last year, we purchased an unusual looking plant with curly, maroon leaves.

We planted it near a small rock fountain near our front door.

As the weather became colder, we covered it on nights when frost might’ve damaged it.

Now, as spring is upon us, we realize that our little purple-red plant is here for another year.

Recently, however, we noticed a change.

When we purchased the plant, it was a “low to the ground” kind of thing.

Maybe two inches tall.

So, what was the change?

Delicate, pink flowers were sprouting up from it!

What’s this?

We had no idea that they would appear.

God knew, however.

He knew what was hidden that would eventually come forth.

In the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel, we read that God had instructed Samuel to anoint the man He would indicate as the new king.

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”

 But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’  Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”

Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”

Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”

 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

–1 Samuel 16:1-7

Samuel was making a judgment at first by what he could see.

God explained that He looks at our hearts.

As the chapter unfolds, we find that David, son of Jesse, was who God had selected to be king.

God knew David’s heart.

God knew what would come forth from this young man, although others could not.

What will you become?

God knows your heart.

There may be incredible gifts placed inside you, ready to bloom in God’s timing.

Who knows what beauty is about to bloom from within you?

God knows.


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Bloom Salvation


Have you felt the rain?

Have the drops of God’s goodness fallen on your heart?

Has salvation bloomed within you today?

Open up, heavens, and rain.
    Clouds, pour out buckets of my goodness!
Loosen up, earth, and bloom salvation;
    sprout right living.
    I, God, generate all this.

–Isaiah 45:8  The Message




Click image to enlarge.