I love those days when I can be outside! Really, even when it is 100 and I’m sweating buckets, it is SO worth it. Today I was able to work a bit in our prayer garden. So often when I work there, God whispers to me. Today, I was planting around the tomb. Special plants. You see, last week Tuesday I drove into the garage from my sweet grandma’s funeral and there sat this pretty hydrangea bush. I knew immediately that it would be at the empty tomb. A reminder that our God’s not dead, he’s surely alive, and coming again. Therefore, death where is your sting. It seemed them only appropriate place for my “funeral” flower from my besties! As I dug today, God whispered this to me – a planting of the Lord for the display of HIS splendor. I spent a LOT of time praying into that verse. Tonight I had to look up the full text… “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:2-3″
Now, I don’t want to over spiritualize my symbolic tomb of Jesus. However, I’m telling you folks, his spirit was there in BIG ways today. I’m certain this will be a special place for many, but for me for sure.
This past weekend was mothers day. I still can’t articulate the emotions that I had this year on mother’s day. I can’t tell you how many posts I have started and then deleted. Last June my mom (who is, by the way, my best friend) was diagnosed with Lymphoma in her brain (aka brain cancer). And last week, my special grandma passed away. Here’s what’s hard to put into words and what I had been wrestling with. I’m doing great with my 91 year old grandma passing. She was ready. She was saved, and she is with Jesus.
However, I have lived the last year in this place of, what if this is the last time I do this with my mom, or that with my mom, this may be our last Christmas or mother’s day or, or, or. Grandma and I had a talk shortly after mom was diagnosed. Grandma was mad at God and said she would be really upset if he took Bev home before her. I chuckled at her and reassured her that God knew what he was up to. However, I couldn’t help but share some of that same anxiety. One night when I was up praying for mom while she was still having a hard time of it, I bartered with God – take grandma, she’s old and wants so badly to be with you, but I need my mama yet. If I’m totally honest, I didn’t know that I would handle it well if mom passed and grandma had to bury her own daughter. Fast forward 11 months. Mom is doing great! Last dr. check up said no cancer! Grandma is with Jesus, right where she wanted to be.
Today as I dug, and planted and prayed, and listened, I processed. And God repeatedly whispered this verse – a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Some of the plants I put in the ground were annuals. They will live this summer, and be gone. Some were perennials. God willing, they will be back next spring:-) Here’s the thing. In our humanness, we all think we are perennials and that we control things. We feel entitled to another “season.” and when that doesn’t go as we think, we recoil a bit.
As I was planting away, God just did what he does, and applied balm to places I didn’t even know were needing it. All of the plants are a display of his splendor. Not just the ones that come back year after year. In fact, some of the prettiest are those that won’t make it past the first frost (or the heat of July!) But, tucked away, in the rocks, is an empty tomb with an angel standing guard. And we wait… for the display of his splendor. For his coming again on clouds.
We all can choose to live life looking at the what if’s, and become so consumed with tomorrow that we can’t enjoy today. OR, we can take one day at a time and enjoy the splendor that God has in that day. The word CANCER can shift you. It did me. In walking the journey with mom, I found strength and peace that I didn’t know before. I am different because of it. I am better because of it.
I’m going to live like an annual. I’m going to display his splendor to those around me. We never know if we will be back “next season.” We know we have today. Cherish it.
After the planting, I applied the oil of joy, and Emma and I did this…
Yep… even mama got wet. Live for today! Cherish it, and be a display of HIS splendor!