"Sometimes while I'm talking to God, He'll show me something about myself in such a way that I have to laugh at my own humanity and how funny I must look to Him." - Donna

Donna...just found your blog...I absolutely love it! And I love your singing! I'm at work right now and it was just exactly what I needed to hear to help me make it through tonight! Thanks for your ministry here!
- Robert

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Blooming Christian

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
James 1:2-3 niv

Up until a few days ago, I had a lush hibiscus tree on my deck. This morning I glanced out my back door to see this once beautiful plant had deteriorated into a pitiful state. Our back yard has a small patch of woods and it looks as if an animal might have gotten hold of the hibiscus and almost killed it. Yellow and brown leaves droop from every branch. In spite of it all, the plant managed to force out several beautiful peach blossoms.

It made me think of people who, in spite of horrendous events that would kill weaker souls, manage to bloom – becoming more beautiful people in the process. No bitterness exudes from their personalities. They not only take the lemons they’re handed and make lemonade, they find the zest in life – the lessons learned, and share them with others.

A friend of mine has been through unbelievable trials. To relate how much he’s been through would take hours, but he has never wavered in his faith in God. Not that he hasn’t asked God “Why??” many times. He has. And with good reason. I have struggled with these issues myself with regard to his circumstances, but if you talk to him today, he talks only of God’s goodness and faithfulness.

Contrast this with another friend who makes, as my mother used to say, “mountains out of molehills.” Every event in life turns into a major dramatic trauma, and an excuse to complain to God and anyone else who will listen. “Why me??”

The Apostle James wrote (James 1:2-4) that we should consider our many kinds of trials as joyful, tests for our faith, that we might develop perseverance. Only then will be mature and complete Christians.

I know we’ve all had trials that caused us to question God, and I have to say, I’ve done my share of complaining. But I want to be like my faithful friend, and kind of like that plant on my deck – blooming anyway, giving praise to God, and glorifying Him – a mature Christian.

Now I must tend to my hibiscus, poor thing. It looks like it might have gone a few rounds with a squirrel and the squirrel won.

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that in the worst of trials, I can lift my head and praise You, knowing that You never leave nor forsake me. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Donna J. Shepherd 2006 All rights reserved.
No portion of Devotionals by Donna may be reproduced without permission. For more information, contact Donna by clicking on link in righthand column. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Great devo, Donna! That friend of yours sounds like a wonderful guy - I know I love meeting people that God challenges me with and makes me think how I would thrive (or die trying) in the process.

Thanks for sharing!


Anonymous said...

Donna, you never cease to amaze me! You can get an uplifting message from a dying hibiscus plant. I guess, if the Lord can be glorified in and by a battle-scarred plant, there is hope of being used by God for all of us in any situation.
A great devotional.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely devotional Donna. I loved that your hibiscus rallied! Keep them coming!

Rhodi Alers de López said...

It is a gift from heaven to take daily occurances and find a spiritual lesson in them. I pray the Lord continues to use you for his glory and others' spiritual growth.

Your sister in the Lord,
Rhodi Alers de López

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