“. . . it shall blossom abundantly . . .” (Isaiah 35:2)

Part of the beauty of prophetic ministry is that it transforms deserts into fields of blooming flowers. Having grown up in country where flowers were plentiful, I came to a land that was comparatively dry and vast. That’s the contrast between Holland and Canada. Contrast this again with the deserts in California. At the height of summer when everything is bone dry, except that which has been watered, I can only imagine the myriad of flowers that grew naturally and were luscious growing up.

The prophets in the Old Testament prophesy that the desert will blossom abundantly, that fields will be bought and sold while under foreign occupation, that dry bones will live, and the list goes on. Prophets prophesy things that seem impossible given the current circumstances. Their prophetic words fly in the face of reason, so it seems. I guess that’s what makes them prophetic.

It is easy to prophesy something that it looks like is already going to happen. It’s another when it seems to contradict everything we know and see. How can this be?

As prophetic people we get to prophesy blossoms in the desert. Where there is only barren ground, we see fertile soil in which we can plant a seed and God can make it grow and blossom.

I had a Bougainvillea bush in the Dominican Republic as well as in Southern California where we lived for 12 years. It’s not hard to imagine it blossoming in the Dominican Republic where we had a rainy season with regular tropical downpours, although we could have months of drought as well. Southern California is much drier in general with its Mediterranean, semi-arid, climate. I had a very drought-resistant species of Bougainvillea in our yard in Southern California where no matter how little it rained, the bush always produced beautiful flower blossoms, even in the driest of years.

God’s prophetic word is drought-resistant. It can take root in the driest of climates and the most bare soil you can imagine. Sometimes it takes years for the seed to sprout and grow roots, but when it does, watch out! Beauty will come forth.

Don’t underestimate what you are sowing into with your prophetic words. Your words can take root in the least favorable conditions. One year my kids gave me a dwarf orange tree for a Father’s Day present since orange is my favorite fruit. For two years I faithfully watered that tree after I had planted it in the yard. It got about the same amount of sun as our lemon bush that produced lots of lemons every year. I think my dwarf orange tree gave me two oranges in the first year and another two in the second year; I was disappointed because I expected more. I grew discouraged and watered it less regularly as I was starting to think it was a waste of time. Wouldn’t you know it? When I least expected it, it produced a whole lot of fruit that third year. Don’t get discouraged. That which you have planted in the desert will blossom in due time.

By Ralph Veenstra