You are God’s August!
What a miraculous and marvelous month August is!
"The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning … the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color." ―Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
August is the month of wild flowers … and vegetable gardens … and fields dancing with nearly ripe corn!
August boasts of chrysanthemums … and bachelor’s buttons … and sunflowers bending in the afternoon sunshine.
“Where flowers bloom so does hope.” – Lady Bird Johnson
I spent the last two weeks with a sister/friend who loves a family garden as much as I do. Every afternoon we would wander out to her enormous garden and choose what we would have for dinner that night.
I became an expert at cutting lettuce … and choosing ripe tomatoes … and determining which cucumbers were ready for a salad!
“We might think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it’s our garden that is really nurturing us.” – Jenny Uglow
My sister/friend and I actually spent three afternoons canning the abundant harvest from this time of year. We canned tomatoes, dill pickle relish, hamburger pickles and peaches!
What abundance! What delight! What fun!
Because it’s August … and because the earth seems to be alive as God’s “Show and Tell” … I have been thinking lately about the word “flourish”.
Isn’t “flourish” a perfectly wonderful word?!
Because it’s August … and because creation is gloriously shouting a song of praise … let’s take a few minutes to talk about that word, “flourish”!
Shall we start with the Bible?! There’s no better place to begin than on the sacred pages written by the Holy Spirit of God Himself!
“The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, he will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green, to declare that the Lord is upright He is my rock and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” - Psalm 92:12-15.
Ah-h-h!! Isn’t this wonderful news! You are God’s August! You were created to flourish just like all of creation is doing at this very moment!
God made you to flourish and to inexhaustibly thrive. He did not make you to die on the vine of life. He spiritually designed you for emotional and spiritual abundance in every season of your life.
His plan was never that you would be shriveled up emotionally and trampled upon by anger and depression and worry. God's intent was that you would not live a brittle life but would live a life that flourishes.
The definition of “flourish” that resonates deeply within me is this one: “To receive life from outside yourself, creating vitality within yourself and producing blessing beyond yourself!”
Wow! What a powerful definition!
When you receive life from the Father it will create a vitality on the inside of you that is contagious and fruitful! Who wouldn’t want that?!!
But the purpose of the extraordinary growth inside of you is not just for you … it’s to bless other people in your world!
His life helps you to flourish and then bless others!
In the ancient Hebrew, “flourish” always refers to something or someone who is growing by those infamous leaps and bounds.
“Flourish” is a word picture of a plant that is destined to grow abundantly regardless of the climate or drought.
The Psalmist declares that “the righteous man will flourish like the palm tree.” If the Bible uses the word “righteous” to describe a person, it means that this person has willfully chosen to connect himself or herself to God.
It does not mean that the described person is perfect but it does mean that the person has chosen to put on God's imputed righteousness.
You will flourish, then, in direct proportion to your connection with God!
If you choose to bask in His presence on a daily basis and spend time in the Word and in prayer, your life will be a grand display of the growth that comes from your connection to His righteousness.
To whom or to what are you choosing to be connected?
“In God’s Garden of Grace even a broken tree can bear fruit.” – Rick Warren
Many Christians are more connected to the pain of their past than they are to the reality of His presence on a daily basis. It really does matter to you emotionally whether or not you read your Bible every day. It really does matter to you emotionally whether or not your worship in spite of your disappointment. It really does matter to you emotionally if you pray for those who have been unkind to you. It really does matter.
“Your mind is a garden … your thoughts are the seeds … you can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.”
You will begin to grow by leaps and bounds both spiritually and emotionally because you are receiving life from God.
The fruits of the Spirit will miraculously make you into someone who has the temperament and personality of God.
When you choose to be in vital connection with Jesus on a daily basis, the life that you will receive will grow you into the person that God had in mind the day that He created you.
You must work with God in tandem in the garden of your heart so that your emotional responses to the climate around you are because you are in deep and rich connection with Him. He gives to you what you could never instigate in your own strength.
You can't do it without Him and He won't do it without you!
You are God’s August… and it is time for you to produce such an abundance in your life that the world stops and takes note!
Thanks for listening to my heart this week. As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me. And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!