The Most Beautiful Flower in the World
by Amy Turnage
“He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water” (Psalm 107:35).
My favorite flower looks dead and gnarled, like something you may clear away with the ugly weeds of the garden. Its beauty is hidden and its message is one of great importance.
The Jericho Rose (also known as the Resurrection Plant) is a “flower” residing on the southwest shore of the Dead Sea in Israel. These twisted, rooted plants are few and far between. If you happen upon one, you will most likely walk past without notice. Its beauty and capacity to survive are unseen. This “flower” will not halt you in your tracks, but its ability to transform will.
This desert area near the Dead Sea is a dry and barren place, proving itself lonely, tiring, and stressful. Many make application to the desert as an example of a season of life, especially a time of despair. At some point or another, this experience becomes too familiar. Not one person is exempt from situations where internal and external drought is experienced – including the fathers of our faith, Abraham, Moses, and David. Grasping hope becomes difficult. Pain is strong. Loneliness is overwhelming. God is present.
In His creation, God gives many examples of hope. The Jericho Rose serves as a living example that hope exists – and to hold on – even during the driest of times. The Jericho Rose waits and waits, year after year, enduring the arid desert until the rains come. The very moment a drop of water touches it the rose unfurls its gnarled fingers and begins to bloom. The reaction is immediate as it unfolds, stretching out its arms to gather nourishment. This plant serves as a potent reminder that the rain will arrive in due time, bringing with it sustenance and allowing the extraordinary beauty that has been strengthened by the desert experience to bloom outwardly once again.