Blooming in Barrenness

The red plumed ocotillo and the Sonoran Sauguaro

Each day I drive by these botanical symbols of life in the springtime desert. The ocotillo dressed in statuesque elegance with its plumes of red flowers sways in front of the Sonoran Desert hallmark, the giant Saguaro. I drink in this fleeting beauty which will fade as spring turns up its heat and all that will be left are the spiny thorns which make these sentinels unapproachable. Still I marvel at God’s artistic majesty to create striking beauty in a barren land.

I am much like those desert plants. My inward beauty fades quickly as the heat of life beats down on me. Existing in a barrenness of soul where the ground is parched, I shoot out my spines warding off anyone who dares come to close or may inflict injury on my already bruised soul.

Languishing in this barren land, the Lord assures me that just as the desert plants march through the seasons and remain strong, He will meet me each morning with mercies and strength to face the heat that beats against my soul that day.

“See, O Lord, how distressed I am! I am in torment within, and in my heart I am disturbed for I have been most rebellious…” Lamentations 1:20 NIV

But the good news is just a day, or a season away, or a couple of chapters away.

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 2:21-23 NIV


Just as the desert flowers fade on one plant, they blossom on another until the springtime colors rest for another year; so will my barrenness fade in the shade of the Lord’s daily compassions until my inward beauty will shine once again.

Last week I invited friends to stop by and leave a comment for a chance to win Jennifer Dukes Lee’s new book, “Love Idol.” I happy to announce we have TWO winners: Wanda from the Watered Soul and Karen Zema. Congratulations, ladies!

If you have not had a chance to read this life-changing book that takes you from searching for approval in every man-invented way to finding it at the feet of Jesus, I highly recommend you order the book online or call your nearest Christian bookstore to see if they have it in stock. Christian Booksellers Discount and Amazon are sold out until they receive more inventory!!! Givington’s at offers you the opportunity to order the book and benefit your favorite charity. Also check Barnes and Noble at

Finding gratitude in the desert:

  • Thank You, Lord, for the strength to go to church today
  • Thank You for beautiful worship and especially for Pastor Miller’s rendition of John the apostle’s presentation in the Upper Room after Christ ascended into heaven
  • Thank You for Communion, the sharing of Your Spirit within me.
  • Thank You for words of wisdom from friends at church
  • Thank You for the festive colors waving in the breeze as we celebrated Mission Sunday
  • For projects getting completed around the house
  • For oldest’s temporary job
  • For a published devotional
  • For homemade chocolate chip cookies for the bake sale at church
  • For faithful friends who lift us up in prayer

Linking with Multitudes MondayMonday Musings, and The Beauty in His Grip


 From My Heart To Yours,


14 thoughts on “Blooming in Barrenness

  1. Oh Janis, I know the beauty of the desert and I know the very real heat in the summer months. It can be easy to feel dried out and barren. But God in His graciousness restores us and fills our need and our thirst. He is so good.

    Blessings and love,

  2. This is beautiful, Janice. And, it is such an encouragement to me – thank you! When we go through painful times and the journey is especially hard, our God’s mercies each day are the water we need for our thirsty souls!

    Blessings, Joan

  3. Beautiful post, Janis. It has me humming the words to the hymn “Great is Your Faithfulness.” Such wonderful encouragement. YAY for published devotional!! Blessings to you, friend.

    • A good song to be humming. The words fill our soul with encouragement! And thank you for noting my devotional. Hoping I will do more.

  4. Janis, sometimes the Lord just makes me smile! Would you believe that I also posted something today about those verses from Lamentations?! And about the power of that word – *yet*.

    Yes, even in the middle of a barren season, when our souls are parched and thirsty, YET we will have hope. The Lord will once again bring SONshine to our souls!


    • It’s so encouraging to know that the Holy Spirit confirms His word to us through others. Thank you for blessing me, Sharon. Yes, we will once again see the SONshine in our souls!

  5. Janis, That was truly a wonderful blog you wrote. He who began a good work in each of us will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. (And I always add, and it is going to take that long for me!!!) What you said was so beautifully written!!! ILuvU

    I just can’t understand why you picked me as one of your winners. I didn’t think what I wrote back was that exceptional…. You are welcome to give it to someone else!!!

    • Karen, thank you for stopping by this morning and for your words of wisdom! I guess I’ll always be under construction as we all will be.

      You won based on a simple drawing~names in the bowl, select one.
      I know you’ll enjoy this book.

      Blessings, Janis

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