What an enigma!
When I bought these I expected them to flourish. Look at them, they are so alive. Blooming is a sign of life. The verbena plants were cultivated in retched fertilizer and REGULAR watering by the farmers who sold them to Lowe’s.
It is the same with our joy. Joy is not synonymous with happiness. Happenings result in happiness, joy is the result of the object of our hope. Look again at the flowers. They were so ready to be planted. Then I bought them…
What happened to all the blooms? Being planted isn’t enough. Only the fertilizer of life, the difficult parts, the pain, the poop, can give us an opportunity to see a glimmer of hope that spawns the response of joy. Look again at the bottom right corner, that is a picture of HOPE. Hope is a glimmer of expectation that all will be well, life will bloom once again. The result of such a confidence, if we allow it, can spring forth as JOY.
Isaiah 58:8 (English Standard Version) Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Doesn’t that sound amazing! That is something I want to meditate upon!
We can see our light breaking forth and our healing springing forth speedily and the glory of God having our back. Truly, there is joy in that picture.
So I will fertilize my verbena with terrible stuff and I will water consistently. But, I will also pray and ask, -God, make the verbena bloom with joyous flowers once again and do the same for my heart that seems to ache with dryness unexplained. Make your goodness a glimmer of hope that spreads the life of joy through out.-
Also worthy of a meditative read:
Valley of Vision: JOY
The Banner of Truth Trust ^ | 1975 | Arthur Bennett
All thy ways of mercy tend to and end in
Thou didst weep, sorrow, suffer that I might rejoice.
For my joy thou hast sent the Comforter,
multiplied thy promises,
shown me my future happiness,
given me a living fountain.
Thou art preparing joy for me and me for joy;
I pray for joy, wait for joy, long for joy;
give me more than I can hold, desire, or think of.
Measure out to me my times and degrees of joy,
at my work, business, duties.
If I weep at night, give me joy in the morning.
Let me rest in the thought of thy love,
pardon for sin, my title to heaven,
my future unspotted state.
I am an unworthy recipient of thy grace.
I often disesteem thy blood and slight thy love,
but can in repentance draw water
from the wells of thy joyous forgiveness.
Let my heart leap towards the eternal sabbath,
where the work of redemption, sanctiﬁcation,
preservation, gloriﬁcation is ﬁnished
and perfected for ever,
where thou wilt rejoice over me with joy.
There is no joy like the joy of heaven,
for in that state are no sad divisions,
contentions, evil designs,
weariness, hunger, cold,
sadness, sin, suffering,
persecutions, toils of duty.
O healthful place where none are sick!
O happy land where all are kings!
O holy assembly where all are priests!
How free a state where none are servants
except to thee!
Bring me speedily to the land of joy.