Often when we have dreams there comes a time when our hope falters and we need to refocus and remember what the dream was all about in the first place. This painting and poem was inspired by the theme of a special upcoming event in Dallas, Flourish 2013 (I highly recommend that you go), the creative challenge they launched, and messages I heard recently from leaders I look up to at Covenant that encouraged my heart and spirit in a time of weariness. Where ever you are on your journey know that you were made to flourish for this time and that dream in your heart still lives…
Made to Flourish Poem Video (Part 1 of 3)
Made to Flourish Poem Video Part 2
Made to Flourish Poem Audio Full Version
Listen closely, can you hear it? Can you feel it?
That rhythm resonating from within
Orchestrated by an invisible hand is the unseen evidence
That you are flowing with potential and purpose
No matter your start, no matter your circumstance.
Because you see, every heart beats with an endless thirst, an eternal longing,
A deep desire to be fulfilled.
Throughout our lives we’re beckoned by the greatest Song of songs,
A higher calling. It’s a melody that draws us to rise up
To join a greater dance of destiny, a perfect will.
It’s that distinctive cadence we were made to move in,
A sweet sound of significance.
Even before we were conceived, woven together in secrecy
A seed of promise was sown in the depths of our souls,
A tiny glimpse of what could be, what the future could hold,
A dream that quickened the pulse of our existence
And challenges us to grow the distance.
In the beginning of our journey we were young,
Dreamers with eyes wide in discovery, preparing for the run
Heart throbbing with possibilities, in awe of the scenery creation paints around us,
That song of wonder leading us, leaving billows of celestial splendor trialing behind us.
When we first received that vision, we cherished it, protected it,
Had hope that one day we would experience it.
We nurtured it and set out to bring it to fruition,
We longed to see it grow up and flourish into reality,
So we could share its nourishment and beauty with others…
But when we shared our dreams not everyone was welcoming
Not everyone could see in full color or shared our excitement.
It wasn’t long before the clouds of life shadowed our own eyes, dimming our light
Distracted us and drew us away from our reverie. When life didn’t go as expected
We conformed to normalcy, and tended to someone else’s vineyard halfheartedly
As our dream throbbed eagerly.
An unforeseen adversary cunningly set out to devour the promise of our seed
Plotted against us and deceived us into darkness
We took the bait and bit destruction
Settled for bitter forbidden fruit that wasn’t meant for us to taste.
We slumped into a fallen state and found ourselves
In a gloomy pit, buried alive, left to die in doubt, desolation and despair
We were left bare our covering of security snatched away, scarred, stripped, scared,
Sold to the whirlwinds of this world,
Whipped and tossed far away from home.
While detained in desperation we tried to manipulate the process
And make the seed sprout in our own strength
We found we were powerless to birth the promise,
Instead conceiving wild weeds while bringing meaning to others’ dreams.
It seemed we helped everyone around us prosper while we were left in slavery.
Frustrated in that desert place of obscurity struggling in ambiguity
The song that once drew us faded as we endured the ache,
Carried away by floods of disappointments, jaded
Our promise seed a distant memory
Every now and then we hear a faint melody of our song on the wind.
We strain to listen but instead of making our hearts leap with expectancy.
It becomes a lullaby that lulls us to discontented sleep
With trickles flowing down our cheeks and
Disillusionment drowning out our dreams.
But there’s a sound that awakens us and won’t let us stay asleep,
A deep gentle call unto deep,
Waterfalls and rolling waves rousing us to come awake
The same voice that declared “Let there be light,”
Hovers over the gloomy, formless and void places of our lives,
Shining forth hope calling us to arise out of endless, dreamless slumber.
Love pursued us and wouldn’t let us be consumed by the darkness
Sending down the greatest gift,
He lovingly stirs us out of numbness with the touch of His lips.
He tends to us tenderly His hands revealing scars and wounds
Showing us He too was battered betrayed, beaten, bruised and laid in a tomb
But He conquered death, defeated the enemy
Overcame the world and arose from the grave
So we too could be free, no longer enslaved by our sin and shame.
This Prince of Peace so mighty to save
Wouldn’t let us be consumed by despair, rescuing us from fear
He awoke us from the curse to be refreshed, restored, reunited, repaired.
He offers us to take His hand, leave behind our past mistakes
Accept the present of resurrection, answer the call, stand and follow Him.
When we turn away from the shadows and step into the radiance of the Son
He reveals the true intentions of the pain He allowed in His plan,
What He permitted to be done.
We realize in the weathering we were changed and transformed to reflect Him
That within the trials and discouraging storms that we thought were delays
Keeping us circling in a holding pattern
Was His perfect design and timing.
He was making a way for us to the fertile ground of His purpose
That we would not have gotten to on our own
If not for the floods and downpours,
When we were carried away by foes, suffered shame and lured into a hole,
Imprisoned and isolated in the darkness where we never thought we’d survive
We were developing, budding, still alive,
We thought we had been disqualified and that the seed within had been crushed and died
When really it was dormant awaiting the ideal season
And environment to be multiplied
To bloom beautifully and fully in its time.
He didn’t want us to wilt and dry up in the desert
But to become resilient and stand upright like a palm tree, swaying but not breaking.
When we thought it was too painful to bear,
He was shaping our character, pruning away
The diseased, damaged and dead branches to bear healthy, vital fruit through us,
Our hearts producing patience, perseverance, integrity and love
The times when we shed endless rivers and cried out anxious prayers
Flooding our beds all night long
The sorrowful songs we thought fell on deaf uncaring ears
He showed us that He heard our weeping all those years,
He mourned with us and the tears we’d sown in toil
Left wells that would water drought-laden soil
We will be reaping in songs of joy in the morning.
What seemed to be the trampling and devouring of the vision
Was transportation to bring us to provision in famine
Bringing a bounty of plenty that would bring salvation to many.
He was preparing us to be planted in the perfect place,
To thrive like a cedar by streams of righteousness and grace
Where we would rise up in influence to give refuge and a safe haven
To many who are lost and broken, giving them Truth to satisfy their hunger
With leaves that never wither we would prosper.
He entrusted and endowed us with endurance
To overcome our hurts and hindrances
So we can draw others to Him for a harvest of hope, wholeness and healing.
The dream was designed to germinate our faith
Even as the mustard kernel the least of all seeds
That that grows up to be a solid tree giving lodging to birds
Rooted with a firm foundation in His Word.
We learn to put our reliance on Him to do miracles and move mountains,
In confidence that what we hope for
And with assurance that what we do not see will manifest when we believe.
When we surrender all and submit to His strength
And embrace His process to grow the promise,
We realize that the dream was greater than we could envision,
His plans are deeper, purer, abundantly beyond our comprehension.
When we allow Him to take us through the seasons
We give Him permission to increase us for a higher reason
We recognize the vision He gave us wasn’t just about us.
Not depending on what we could create but giving the Creator our trust.
It is less about producing a success story and
More about revealing His glory and writing a riveting romance of
The deepest of Love, many waters cannot quench.
He was preparing a gift, weaving an intricate tapestry,
Painting a striking masterpiece,
Chiseling us into His likeness and all we could see
Was the back stitching, the under painting, and a rock of formlessness
Our identity is not in the dream but in the DreamGiver, the author of destiny;
We are enraptured by His beauty, enthralled with His glory, in awe of His creativity.
He isn’t just the supplier of resources but the Source of all things.
He rolled away the stone, Transplanting a heart that was living
Reviving us with new rhythms aligning with the heartbeat of Heaven.
He resuscitated us from eternal sleep to be refreshed, restored and reunited with Him.
He transferred our shame and despair to Himself and gave us a new beginning.
He rids us of our scarlet stains and washes us with hyssop to be clean again
Engraving our names in crimson on the palm of His hands.
He replaced the restraining cloak we lost with a garment of praise
Restoring us to a higher place with robe of righteousness.
Taking for Himself a crown of thorns and sweeping away our ashes
He bestows us with beauty and adorns us with a garland of roses.
The waiting chamber becomes a secret place of preparation
Where we discover dependence, purpose and true intimacy beyond imagine
It’s in the wilderness that we learn to seek His face with diligence
To abide in His unfailing Love and rest under the shelter of His wings
Finding comfort and refreshment in His presence.
In the pressing we produce oil of healing, gladness and passion.
We find endless contentment, supernatural bliss, everlasting life and kindness.
Once scorched and dried out we are Son-kissed walking with Him
In the cool of the day we’re restored like a well-watered Garden
Guided and satisfied by Him always like an ever-flowing spring.
As we dwell and delight in the shade and security of the King of kings
He reigns in us, saturating our spirits, our reservoirs and cups overflowing.
Well rooted by living waters of life we drink His Word, the sweet truth He inspired
As we soak and let Him permeate our being
We realize that He is the fulfillment of all of our desires
The quench for a deep thirst and longing for pleasure,
The true reward is the discovery of Eternal treasure.
We find ourselves drawn back to the Garden where we were first meant to be
Surrounded by a multitude and diversity of dreams,
A great gathering of kindred blossoms, planted in community,
The Gardener rejoices over us with singing and tends to us affectionately as
We join the greatest Song of songs with reverence for Him in divine harmony,
As our spirits evermore intertwine
We profess our vows and loyalty to the Vine
Saying “I am my Beloved’s and He is mine.”
Here we finally find our tune and sing with joy untold
Exploding in adoration from the deep wells of our soul.
Pouring out thanksgiving, honoring He who is worthy of worship.
Our Redeemer from of old.
The serenade becomes a fragrance that draws others in to see
An invitation to encounter the Holy of holies to meet with royalty
He leads us to a great banquet hall,
For a celebration of the holiest of matrimonies of all
Where bouquets of His chosen will be reunited one day
Beautiful arrangements for a wedding display.
For now we bloom where we’re planted and wait
Blossoming for the nations to behold His beauty,
So they too can come back to their first Love
Who poured out redemption on a tree.
Calling them to come awake, to embrace true purpose and take their place
Playing and moving in a forever symphony
At home in paradise and peace eternally.
The winter is past, the rain is over and gone,
The time of the singing birds has come.
The voice of our beloved whispers that He’s approaching
So we wait for Him with longing more than watchmen anticipate the morning
With our lamps full we stay poised as a royal Bride waiting for her King
Engaged in His mission and faithfully answering His calling.
He anoints we who were barren to be blessings
To bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives
And release from darkness for the prisoners,
He cultivated us to be oaks of righteousness and favor,
Displaying His sovereign power and splendor.
So even if now we are being pressed under the weight of the earth
We are drawn by His light to spring forth, to give birth
No eye has seen no ear has heard what miraculous enrichment
The perfect Provider has in store for His precious children.
So flourish baby, flourish, unfurl in your purpose
It’s a deliverance that so many others are waiting to experience
So boldly push up past your pain to breakthrough and bear
Press on through barriers and into the plenty He has prepared
Because all of creation groans in labor
In eager expectation for the revelation of our true identity, and a Savior
Hungering for reality, desperate for destiny, hearts longing for eternity
Sheep gone astray separate from their Maker,
The Greatest Shepherd, The Master-Landscaper
They sink in quicksand and spiral farther away from the Father.
So gather the harvest as our redemption draws near,
Look up to the Promise and persevere, it’s closer than you perceive
Nearer then when you first believed.
Lay down your burdens, excuses, and fear and follow His lead
Because He is a very present help in times of need
Able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all you can ask or think.
Increase your expectations and persist because
You were planted here for a time such as this
To be part of a greater Dream and song that will forever exist.
After years of waiting in expectancy
Have faith, keep focused, be encouraged don’t grow weary
Offer your fields as a gift to the Groom
Expand your boundaries and make room for plenty
This is the reason your heart is beating
So don’t you tarry, the world is waiting.
Now is the season your destiny is due, so enlarge your vision
Here comes the bloom…