Gladiolas of Gladness

It is summertime and I love the beauty of fresh flowers. Gladiolas are a blossom I remember my mother planting. These bulbs need to be placed in the ground each spring and dug up in the fall, so they do take extra effort and special handling. Gladiolus are often referred to by the nickname of glads. In The Broken Way, Ann Voskamp tells of sharing gladness with people by taking them bouquets of glads.

The gladiolus is a flowering plant in the iris family. It is sometimes called the sword lily. When I think about a sword, I am reminded of the sword of the Spirit. Ephesians 6:17 says, Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” A spear of gladiolus flowers is a beautiful sword just as the Word of God is a beautiful sword of the Spirit.

Let me share some verses of gladness from God’s Word as well as some images of the floral glads. While you read the following scriptures, I want you to imagine yourself receiving a bouquet of glads filled with gladness.

You (the Lord) have put gladness in my heart
Psalm 4:7 NASV

This is the day the LORD has made.
We will rejoice and be
glad in it.
Psalm 118:24 NLT

Don’t be afraid, my people. Be glad now and rejoice,
for the LORD has done great things.
Joel 2:21 NLT

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be
glad all our days.
Psalm 90:14 NIV

For the LORD your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with
gladness.
With His love, He will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
Zephaniah 3:17 NLT

Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and His bride has made herself ready.
Revelation 19:7 NIV

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
Psalm 16:9 NIV

Joyfully,
Cheryl

*Click on images to find the credit for appropriate images.

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Petals of Praise

petals C mfWhile praying this morning, the Lord revealed to me how flowers and praise commingle to form a symbolic representation of the type of communication He desires to have with me.  Flowers are tangible reminders to me of the beauty of Jesus.  As my eye absorbs the natural beauty of flowers, God pricks my heart to praise Him for His spiritual beauty.  When I praise the Lord, I praise Him for who He is.  I’m not just thanking Him for something He has done for me nor am I asking Him for something.  I am only immersed in the beauty of who He is.  The beauty of a flower revives my desire to praise the Lord and to revel in His beauty.

I want to share the inspirational image from the Lord I am sensing this morning.  I envision my heart swelling with the understanding of who God truly is and I see a small rosebud of praise beginning to break through the flesh of my heart.  Initially the petals of this floral bud are tightly encased in the greenery surrounding it, but praise petals begin to unfold as words of praise erupt from my mouth.  (Luke 6:45) Instead of just words being emitted from my mouth, I see flowerets floating heavenward to the Lord.  My “praise posey” blooms fully in the presence of God.  The Lord not only receives my flower of praise, but He chooses to inhabit my personal petals of praise. (Psalms 22:3)  As He reverently receives my sacred syllables of acclamation, He is blessed. (Psalms 103:1) God not only holds my praises in His hands, but He also chooses to return the praise petals to my heart as He inhabits my praise and dwells within my innermost being.  Like a fragrant flower, I now become the aroma of Christ to those around me. (II Corinthians 2:15) God accepts my sacrifice of praise as  the essence of a blessed bouquet. (Hebrews 13:15)

Praise is a beautiful thing to God who Himself is beautiful.  He fully comprehends the beauty of personal petals of praise.  He also sees you as beautiful, my Reader. So, be full of beauty; beautiFULL.  As Julie Marie Carrier says, “BeYOUtiful”!

My Reader, please join me in offering sacrificial  “praise petals” to the Lord today. Feel free to use the following floral images and scriptural references to assist you in seeing His natural and spiritual beauty. However, do not stop with my suggestions.  Your sacrifice of praise must be composed of personal petals from your heart if it is to reach the heart of God.  The aroma of your audible adoration is more beautiful to the Lord than any fragrant flower He has ever created.

Joyfully,
Cheryl

petals C mfPraise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being,
praise his holy name.
Psalm 103:1

petals 3 mfAccept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.
Psalm 119:108

petals A mf

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.
Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.
Psalm 145:3&21

petals D mfSing to the LORD with grateful praise;
make music to our God on the harp.  Praise the Lord.
Psalm 167:7

petals 8 mfPraise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness
  Psalm 150:1-2