Fifteen minutes west of our church campus, God does something amazing every spring, and I wanted to share it with you. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and this year in particular it has captivated my attention. Perhaps this devotional moment will encourage you.
After a long winter of excessive rain, the desert has blossomed, once again, with the explosive orange hues of millions of radiant California Poppies.
This touch of Divine artistry is tucked away—easily missed. To get there, you must intentionally travel down a long desert road that seems to be headed to nowhere. In the distance you see a color on the hillsides that you could almost mistake as fire, but without the smoke. After rounding a few bends, beyond some barren fields, you emerge unexpectedly into a painting still wet with dew and still fresh from a heavenly brush in the hand of God. It’s astounding.
This past week, I ventured off the predictable path (the one that leads to the official “Poppy Reserve”) and took a dirt road up a small embankment. At the top was merely heaps of trash and sage brush. Following the Holy Spirit, I took a right down another dirt road, then left up another small hill that plateaued into nothing less than sheer beauty that defies description. What I saw took my breath away. I had emerged at the edge of a sprawling plateau blanketed for miles with millions of vibrant orange petals.Turning the car off, I took a long walk with God. Except for a slight breeze and the occasional singing of birds, all was still, and God’s presence was powerful. Standing amidst the sight, I could only rejoice that my Heavenly Father is such an awesome Creator and loving God.
In that moment, the Holy Spirit reminded me of three things:
First: If God gives such attention to a few weeks of spring beauty on the barren, backside of a desert; He is much more interested in caring for me and guiding the details of my daily life—for I am His child!
Second: Desert roads that seem to be headed to nowhere can often be the very roads that lead us to His greatest moments of Divine artistry in our lives. I want to travel these roads intentionally that I might see His hand at work in such magnificent ways.
Third: Every evening, the poppies fold closed to the cold elements, but every morning, they gently unfold and lay completely open, basking in the light and warmth of the midday sun. I want my heart to be that way—closed to the coldness of sin, but completely open and vulnerable to the warmth and brightness of the presence of God.
“…Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:28-33).
Note: The photos don’t do justice to the sight, but you can view a few of them here.