I felt the Holy Spirit remind me of a painting I saw many years ago. It was a lovely seascape; beautiful green grass which lead to bright white sand, then a sea with many shades of blue and a sunlit sky. A truly beautiful image. But right in the centre of this lovely painting, there was a gnarled grey and black bush; it seemed quite out of place in comparison to the beauty of its surroundings. But, on the top of this bush, there was the most beautiful lilac rose in full bloom.
I felt the Spirit of the Lord saying to you that, although life surrounding you seems really good, even looks very good, you feel like the gnarled bush in the centre, as if your life and the things that are important to you are not very beautiful for many reasons. I feel Him say to you, “don’t worry, I have it all under control, and I am working in the places you see as ugly, even dead, and I will cause you to bloom like the rose in all its beauty!
Take your eyes off the things around you and focus on me, your God, your Father, the Beautiful One and see what I do. You’ll be amazed!”
Matthew 11 v 28-30 (The Message)
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or I’ll-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”