Joel 2:22-25 “Fear not, wild animals! The fields and meadows are greening up. The trees are bearing fruit again: a bumper crop of fig trees and vines! Children of Zion, celebrate! Be glad in your GOD. He's giving you a teacher to train you how to live right--teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words to refresh and nourish your soul, just as He used to do. And plenty of food for your body, silos full of grain, casks of wine and barrels of olive oil. I’ll make up for the years of the locust, the great locust devastation, locusts savage, locusts deadly, fierce locusts, locusts of doom, that great locust invasion I sent your way. You’ll eat your fill of good food. You’ll be full of praises to your God, the God who has set you back on your heels in wonder. Never again will my people be despised.” MSG
I remember traveling across North Carolina on many spring break trips from Cullowhee to Gastonia. Coming across the mountains of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains, I would notice beautiful low growing flowers, all over the landscape. What I knew about plants and flowers back then was very minute and to be honest, I didn’t care too much about the subject. These plants however; especially the purple ones, always caught my eye and piqued my interest. They stood out in the landscape. It was like looking at a thick blanket that God had spread out in colors of pink, purple, white and red all across the mountains. I later came to learn that the name of the flower is Creeping Phlox. This plant, like Forsythias, Jonquils and Daffodils remind me that spring is not too far off, that things are greening up and trees will be bearing fruit again. I didn’t notice them any other time of the year because they had been dormant for a season. Now God was renewing the earth and the seasons were about to change. The same can be true with the seasons we go through in our walk with Jesus, we sometimes become dormant. In the above verse Joel was giving a warning to Judah but at the same time, encouraged them because change was coming. Judah had been dormant in their walk with The Master. Joel however; was prompted by God to call them to repentance. It was time to return to God for renewal and restoration. V.12. He said things are looking bad now, but at the same time, things are greening up and it’s about to get better. God was sending them a teacher to train them how to live right. Like rain coming down from heaven, He promised to give words to refresh and nourish their souls as He had done in the past. He promised to give back what had been lost, to restore the years that the locusts had eaten. v. 25.
Just as God is faithful to spread out a beautiful blanket of Creeping Phlox across those mountains every spring, His arms are lovingly spread out now to blanket us with His love, to warm our hearts and cause us to rejoice in Him. God’s mercies are new daily. His faithfulness to us is everlasting. Lamentations 2:22-23 God has promised that we, who follow His commands sincerely, will experience blessings beyond anything that we can ever imagine. Leviticus 26:3-12, He is mighty and yet, He doesn’t despise anyone and He wants to bless us all. Job 36:5-11. This does not necessarily mean individual wealth and life without problems. He did however; promise to supply ALL of our needs without fail. Philippians 4:19. The Creeping Phlox needs a fertile humus-rich, moist soil and full sun to grow and bloom, so do we. It is found in a relationship with Christ. Spending time in the Son, absorbing the richness and truth of God’s word, we find daily renewal, restoration. We grow, bloom and produce fruit.
Keep reminding us Father that our spring is not too far off. We will be bearing a bumper crop of fruit for Your kingdom if we continue to allow You to teach us, nourish our souls and are very careful to obey Your commands.