Digging up Flowers

Psalm 31:1 In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.

Depression chased me right into the presence of God. I wasn’t even clear about what was bothering me until we had a breakfast picnic together on the floor of my study. I showed up with coffee, a waffle, my Bible and a heavy heart.  And He showed up with a shovel.

I never opened my Bible; the Word through the presence of the Holy Spirit was there. God showed me a garden in my soul where beautiful flowers grew from pain. Which pain, LORD?

In a flash I was reminded of close friends, business partners, colleagues and mentors who walked out of my heart, where I still tried to carry them. Forgotten stories, deeply buried and covered with pride, resurfaced. A father never forgets his child’s pain.  Before I had a chance to feel any of it, I was reminded of Joseph receiving his brothers who left him for dead [Gen 45]. How did Joseph do that?

“I did that”, said Jesus, the one whose nails I drove.  “Joseph took refuge in me. I never let him be put to shame. He believed in me and it is credited to him as righteousness. My love healed his pain, setting him free to love and forgive his brothers just like I love him and you.”

At a young age, like Joseph, I learned that life does not always seem fair, but God is good and his plans are better than mine. I have forgiven offenders who never said, “I’m sorry”, but I hide behind a wall of self-defense, refusing to let them back into my life for fear of receiving additional attacks. If I were Joseph, I would have forgiven and fed my brothers but feared letting them back into my life. My own walls of refuge are piles of pride and insecurity. I trust my own refuge more than God’s protection and plan.

Everyone wants a fool-proof plan, but who’s willing to sacrifice their own will to get it? Jesus did. He was stripped, mocked, beaten, falsely accused, called a liar and a fool, all in public. Isn’t this what we fear? Yet, he chose it. His plan appeared to fail but it actually succeeded.

Security comes from yielded dependence on the only One who never fails.

What is unfair in your life?

What security does your best plan provide?


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