My family and I went hiking in the Sequoia National Forest last summer. We followed a well-traveled trail along a big creek which was fed by the rains high up in the mountains. Very large rocks and massive boulders created and bordered this fast moving body of water. This trail would lead us to a series of thundering waterfalls much further up in the Sierra Nevadas.
We took a moment during our hike to enjoy a lower portion of this plunging waterfall that wrapped around outjutting rocks like a snake coiling around its prey. I climbed onto the rock and peered over the side into the rushing waters, where I noticed a tiny flower and some grasses growing out of the rock. The color of this flower caught my eye against the grey stones and the white foaming, clear water. I snapped a picture of it. There wasn’t any reason this flower was alive. There wasn’t any measurable amount of dirt that it was growing in, except for an extremely tiny crack in the side of this rock. I would imagine when it is springtime and the rains cause massive amounts of flooding to occur here, that rock would be totally engulfed by the creek, but it wasn’t right now. The will of this plant and the other few grasses amazed me. It gave me a moment of hope seeing this tiny glimpse of beauty while the world flowed quickly by and in spite of such immense danger.
I was reminded of something my mother-in-law said to me when our little family moved from Nashville, TN to Marietta GA, away from our support system of my husband’s parents and siblings. Drew had to travel a lot for his new job, and this left me at home alone with a 1-year old and a four-year old, and I knew no one. After being the single parent for weeks on end, I really struggled with being there. I got to the point where I wanted to go back to where we came from. At least there I had other family and I was familiar with where things were. I spoke to my husband’s mother Janet about it.
A few days later, I received a card in the mail from her. It was a picture of a flower and it said, “Bloom where you are planted.” Yes, she was right. This checked me in my spirit. I had been complaining about where the Lord had moved us to, but now it was time to accept how the Lord answered our prayer. I had to start digging in and taking root. I needed to find a way to live with a purpose right where I was. I repented and said, “Lord, what can I do here? Who can I help? You moved us here for a reason. I will find a way to bloom for you.”
If you are in a place that is unexpected, or that is causing you to feel lonely or have regrets, take a moment to reconsider. If you asked the Lord about a change, then perhaps He has put you right where He wants you! Is this about your job? Bloom there. Is this about school? Bloom there. Is it a new town or a new church family?
Take root, grow and bloom for the glory of your Father. You might be the one person that brightens someone else’s day, or life, right where you are.
Where you are right now is not permanent. It is for a season. Take advantage of what time you have.
“The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus or lily.” Isaiah 35:1
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Food for thought: Blossom: the process of the bud opening up, a stage of development (growth), Bloom: the beauty of the flower at its brightest peak.
Fun fact: The Sequoia National Park was established in 1890. It covers 404, 046 acres. The Topeka waterfall (that we hiked to) is the tallest waterfall in the Sequoia Park, and is 1,200 feet long. It is a series of steep cascades in a U-shaped canyon.
Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Rock flower