“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.”
1 Peter 1:6
Do you notice anything?
A little closer…
A fasciated flower!
(Don’t look at me so blankly. Y’all know I’m getting to the explanation.)
This plant is a spike speedwell variety, also called a veronica. It typically gets single spikes of purple flowers.
Which brings me to the oddball.
One of these single spikes is growing double. And each of the doubled spikes is further tripling.
See it now?
That’s called fasciation.
Fasciation can happen for a few different reasons. It could be a bacterial infection. It could be a virus. (Yes, plants can be afflicted with pathogens just like we are). It could have been frost damage. The point is, at some point in its development, damage was done.
And the plant has responded in this particular case by doubling – nay, tripling its bloom.
That’s a dramatic increase in beauty. I call it the fasciation factor.
We really need to understand the fasciation factor because it happens to us, too.
(Are you starting to see where I’m going with this?)
No, we don’t usually sprout two heads when we’ve been damaged (although it can feel very foreign when the pain goes deep). But when we get hurt – abused, betrayed, abandoned, traumatized, scarred – the damage can be at the cellular level. Deep. Jagged. Painful beyond imagination. It hurts.
It can be debilitating. How well I remember my pain lessons…
But oh, your heart needs to remember the fasciation factor.
Because when you allow the Healer to do His work, when you submit to the gentle touch of those fingers which hold planets in place, the damage inflicted by circumstances out of your control comes under His control.
That’s when things get interesting.
See, God’s heart is designed to go after the betrayed, the downtrodden, the victim, the oppressed, the depressed.
Jesus the ridiculed. Jesus the betrayed. Jesus the scoffed, the beaten, the unjustly accused. Jesus the stripped and humiliated. Jesus the sufferer.
Jesus the murdered.
Yes. That Jesus.
Jesus the understander of all you have ever gone through, who weeps at your wounds, who felt every blow, is also the Risen One. The Conqueror. The Ultimate Avenger.
The lover of your soul.
He didn’t cause your pain. But He is in the business of taking it and doing something remarkable with it.
The fasciation factor.
See, in His hands, that damage, that pain, can multiply your kingdom building potential.
Multiply it exponentially!
Where you had small influence, it will double.
Where your potential was minimal, it will triple.
In fact, the greater the damage, the more exponential the increase. Your beauty, your light, your strength, your joy will grow. A trickle will become a stream, and a stream a river.
The river, a waterfall.
I know this to be true. I need to remind my heart just as much as you need to be reminded. There is joy in the journey of healing because no pain goes to waste in God’s kingdom.
Not one drop.
Dear one, don’t let your pain go to waste.
Dedicate that damaged place to the One who loves you best. He will take it and build something so unique, so beautiful, so breathtaking, it will stop you in your tracks.
Others will stop too, and ask you what happened to create such glory.
And will you have a story to tell…
Bring your wounds to God with me so He can multiply your beauty?
Father, how much we hurt. How much damage we incur just by living in this broken world! But oh, how You long to bandage our wounds and heal and restore us, to multiply our effectiveness in building Your kingdom as we spread the story of Your unique work in and through us! Thank You for this restorative power at work. Amen.