“Blooms and bumble-bees and lightning bugs make me want to slow down and linger.”

Dearest Reader, 

After what feels like eight hundred and seventy-two days of rain, summer has made her appearance. She smells of fresh-cut grass and looks like sun-kissed skin; sounds like bumble-bees and hummingbird wings and feels like grace. Summer is grace in the wilderness and beauty in the unholy hard.

I’m processing the news of more chronic-ness in my already chronic life. I’ve sat on my deck countless hours, passing the time with my pen and journal.

Blooms and bumble-bees and lightning bugs make me want to slow down and linger.

Stretching summer beyond her limits is what I need. Scratching words on the page, sipping coffee, whispering prayers, turning pages in my tiny Bible.

These are the things that heal when there is no cure. It’s holy ground in the unholy hard. Brief moments of grace bring comfort in the pain.

I walk through the blooms and pause. 

Rubbing fragile and yet robust petals between my fingers, I think of 2Chronicles 20:12:

“We don’t know what to do but our eyes are on you.”

So I whisper the words, a prayer:

“Lord, I don’t have the answers, the long-term affects, but my eyes are on you.” 

In the silence, I hear the bumble-bees and hummingbird wings. The wind blows, and the rustling of hey whispers in the breeze.

This time, words whisper in my soul:

“Keep your eyes on me.”

Keep your eyes on me.

Yahweh, I Am, is among the blooms, the bumble-bees, and lightning bugs.

Here in the middle, in the middle of our pain, in the middle of the wilderness place is where we encounter holy God in the unholy hard.

An encounter with suffering should lead us to an encounter with God that transforms. If not, we’ve missed Him.

Dearest One, let us find Him in our pain, amid our suffering, walking along beside us in the wilderness. Let’s not miss Him. He is here, He is with us, and He will carry us.

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there, I will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.”

Hosea 2:14-15

The Valley of Achor, our place of trouble, becomes our door of hope.

I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness.

Your Wilderness Guide,

*Currently, we are in the book of Hosea. I’d love to share my Bible Reading Plan with you, along with my Bible Study Plan, if you are interested comment below or send a private email to tlmashburn@yahoo.com.

* Catch up here.

*Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotes are in the English Standard Version from Bible.com

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word, is available now. Order your copy today. Mornings In The Word consists of short devotions and insights for the middle!

“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word