This weekend, I attended the #Amazing18 event at Christ Fellowship, hosted by CF Sisterhood. The event theme was Flourish. In addition to an amazing Worship team, ballet performance, and just an overwhelmingly welcoming environment… there were two great speakers that really spoke to my heart.
Just that morning, I was praying on my way to the event. “Lord, give me a Word at this event.” I was struggling through something, and I needed God’s guidance because I had no idea what to do next … what decisions to make. Apparently I needed more than 1 good word, I needed many.
The first speaker, Julie Mullins (of Christ Fellowship) opened up the event and introduced the theme “Flourish” through an illustration of the 2016 Death Valley Super Bloom.
In 2016, Death Valley experienced a Super Bloom. This is the hottest desert in the US. For most years it is barren and desolate. Yet, beneath the dry rocky soil, lay millions of seeds just waiting to bring new life. California experienced a series of incredible weather that year. Driest summer. Coldest winter. Wettest spring. As a result of the volume of water that spring, these seeds sprouted into not just a bloom… but a super bloom.
It was as if this dry, rocky, arid place was covered in a blanket of flowers. Some of which are only found in Death Valley and only when a super bloom happens. According to most, a super bloom may happen only once in a decade. For many seeing it is a once in a lifetime experience.
* The word flourish means to grow vigorously as a result of favorable conditions. We often think that favorable means easy, wonderful, perfect… but in the case of the Super Bloom the favorable conditions were actually a result of a series of difficult seasons.
* There were millions of seeds below the surface. [ My own notation: All of the affirmations that have been spoken to you, all of the words of wisdom, the Scripture you have read, the prayers others pray over you, etc. are all seeds just under your surface. You can’t see them, but they are there… waiting.]
* Isaiah 35:1-2 — The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
Isaiah 35:6-7 — Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
When I arrived home, I knew I wanted to write about this, but I also wanted to understand more about the super bloom. I dug into some reading and videos on the topic. After doing so, and unpacking Julie’s words, here is where I’ve landed:
Do you feel like you are in a season of dry, rocky ground? Where you a desperately thirsty and it seems like you can’t find water anywhere. You feel as if you are drying up?
There are some who say that nothing can ever survive in the valley, but in an instant the Valley of Death becomes the Valley of Life.
1. The seeds that are underground were designed by God to endure the harshest droughts. They have a special coating on them that keeps them from blooming when only short and shallow rains fall.
2. It will take the greatest storms to crack through that coating.
Even though you may feel like you are in the dry valley, the valley of death… inside of you are seeds that are waiting for the RIGHT moment to germinate and come through the surface. But for some of us, it is going to take an extraordinary set of circumstances to cause those seeds to break through. And the result will be a sudden burst of new life, beauty like anything unseen. Some of us need extra storms, extra trials… double the rain…. a series of extreme situations to unlock what is coming.
What seemed like a sudden burst of life to those who witnessed it, took a decade or more of preparation. The result was beyond any expectation.
But, know what you are up against!
When the Super Bloom happened, all of these flowers and plants also brought an influx of other new lives into the valley. Bugs, insects… they began to thrive. The beauty that rose up out of the dry lands created provision for the creatures. It also brought predators, the lizards who eat the insects and the birds who eat the lizards. In the moments of beauty, there will be predators who take advantage of what it brings.
Lord, let the rains fall and fill our dry valleys. Let your living waters seep deep into our bodies and reach those seeds that have been waiting for so long, so that we may flourish and thrive. Give us patience and confidence as we endure the trials knowing we are waiting for our super bloom moment. In your time, not ours. Amen.