I love how God can use anything to speak to us. We simply have to keep our ears and eyes open to capture what I refer to as a “Nugget” from heaven. It is like a little morsel of goodness that touches our soul momentarily and makes us go “Ahh!”
This morning I stepped outside from our screened backyard porch. I came down the stairs and as I reached the last step something caught my eye. It was a splash of purple against the stone pavers which line our patio. I could not help but smile at the discovery I made.
It was a small petunia plant. The fragile looking plant had two flowers, and one was in its blooming process. What made this so unique was the fact that this little petunia was growing out from between the small spaces of the stones. I did not plant petunias this Spring, so this little plant was left over from last year’s petunias I had planted. Somehow, long after all of the other flowers from last year were gone and forgotten, this one little-determined flower survived the winter months underground. Somehow it managed to get the nutrients it needed to grow and push through the cracks of what most plants would consider to be less than favorable growing conditions.
As I looked closer at the small flower, I could sense God dropping a nugget into my heart. I snapped a quick photo with my iPhone to use in the story I knew would be shared somehow. The scripture that immediately came to my mind was from 2 Corinthians which I am sure most of you are well acquainted with.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.” 2 Cor 4:7-8 NIV
Pressed but not Crushed
I don’t know about you but I can certainly relate to that verse of scripture, and even to the sweet little petunia I found this morning! Hard pressed…perplexed…persecuted…struck down. I have been there! More than once in some cases. But each time God brought me through. He kept me from being crushed. He did not let despair consume me. He never left me alone to feel abandoned. And he certainly did not allow the enemy of my soul to destroy me.
You see it is never about us. It is all about HIM.
It is not our power. It is HIS power.
It is not our strength. It is HIS strength.
I wish I had time to tell you all the ways God has sustained me and brought me through so many trials. His faithfulness overwhelms me.
God’s Faithfulness in the Hard Places
This year marks eleven years since my battle with thyroid cancer. Compared to other types of cancer, I know my battle was small. The surgery itself was uneventful The real fight came in the following six months as I waited for a radioactive ablation procedure and then the road to recovery. I was so depleted of any thyroid function that it affected me in ways I never could have imagined. My energy level was zapped. I was in a mental fog for weeks, and some days it took all I had to just get out of bed to shower and collapse in the nearest chair or back in my bed.
It was in this time of darkness that God revealed His strength to me. His grace abounded, and his mercy did not fail me. It was in this war to regain my health that I learned to worship Him IN SPITE of and not BECAUSE of my circumstances! And like that little petunia, I eventually pushed through the hard place I was stuck in and was able to bloom again in time.
Are you in a hard place today? Do you feel like you are being crushed or even feel abandoned? My friend, I promise you this. Your Father is good. He loves you, and He sees you. Lean on him and his strength and ability. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly and above what you could imagine. No matter how small the crack to your freedom may seem, it is big enough for God to push you through the hard places. Do not give up. Do not lose hope. If God can help a small petunia to survive, imagine what He will do for you!
From my heart to yours,