In my garden I lean into God, and from it I glean many valuable lessons.
Whether the branches of your life are nearly severed, gnawed to the stems, or perhaps even completely broken to core, these things in our lives can serve as the greatest opportunities to grow, to become new, in different directions.
For seven days it was sweltering, heat warnings went out as the waves hovered like the days were long.
It was after the gardener’s assistant, the one who entered my garden to trim down the thistles and mow down the weeds. He, the one who smoked the butt of a cigarette all the way down to the filter, it hanged suspended from his bottom lip, gravity. He, who has a trigger-happy hand and yields a barbed tool, cut one branch of the rose bush that has been deeply rooted for years, and nearly severed the other. After I picked up the broken branch, and provided a suspension for the other, I saw the hand of God and His life lessons, in this.
The following day the winds from the north were blowing and the temperature dropped. Changes in the wind always signals new directions, new things springing forth.
I was astonished. Two rose buds appeared on the vine. I wondered if they would make it.
Would they bloom?
It’s from the broken places and the nearly severed spaces of our lives that we’re presented with the opportunity and given the choice to go with God in new directions, to grow and go deeper, to experience His newness.
Two roses from a nearly severed branch, and the Holy Spirit revealed double portion.
Double-portioned blessings come from broken places and stolen things. They come after the cutting down of the years of the locusts (Joel 2: 25). They come after years of hardship and suffering (Job 42:10). They come after shame, judgment, persecution, and humiliation has completed its work and our hearts and character has been reshaped, in His image.
Yet, God promises that they come.
We’re living in the season of restoration, in the days of INSTEAD.
God process of restoration and renewal are overlapping. This process does not come in pristine circumstances. It’s birthed, literally, through pain and anguish and chaos and confusion.
God is RESTORING and RENEWING…
Instead of your former shame, you will be honored.
Instead of being humiliated and disgraced, you will be rejoiced over.
Instead of persecution, you will receive joy.
And instead of ________________________, you will receive a double portion of ____________________.