“But the previous night, God had appeared to Laban the Aramean in a dream and told him, “I’m warning you—leave Jacob alone!””‭‭Genesis‬ ‭31‬:‭24‬ ‭NLT‬‬

While Meditating…

I had just finished reading the above scripture, which stirred my heart. After reading Genesis 30-31, I looked for a cross-reference verse. The Lord dropped in my spirit when Joseph received in a dream that he had to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt to flee Herod and his decree!

I was struck with the fact that nothing stops God’s plans. They survive time and evil plans. No matter what, they do not fail and come to pass! It doesn’t matter what environment you are in – hostile or friendly, peaceful or stressful, boring or fun, scary or courageous – you can flourish when in the will of God!

I began thinking about what I cook that mimics this! The Lord laid on my heart baking cinnamon rolls.

I use a bread machine to make the dough when I cook cinnamon rolls. I put all the ingredients in the machine, set it on the dough setting, and let it do its work, which consists of mixing the dough up and letting it rise. That takes 1.5 hours. That is the first environment that is rose in!

When that time is up, I take the dough out that has gone through a chemical change, looking totally different than when I put it in the machine.I put the dough on a floured surface, knead it, and then roll it out into a large rectangle. I add my filling and then roll up the dough. I then cut it into individual rolls and place them on a pan. I cover them up and sit them in a closed-up space in my kitchen so they can rise again. That takes another 1.5 hour hours. That is the second environment that it rose in!

When that time elapses, I put them in a preheated oven to cook for about 15-20 minutes. So that is the third environment that it rose in!

After I remove them from the oven, I spread icing on them and eat them up! It rose in this fourth environment because it rose to my mouth! Lol!!

I had a watchful eye on the entire process! But even more important, the dough flourished and transformed in each environment. It went through some stirring, heat, and just sitting in one environment, but it rose!! It went through some kneading, rolling, smothering, cutting, covering up, and sitting in another environment, but it rose! It went through extreme heat and sitting in another environment, but it rose!! Finally, it went through some decorating and enjoyment in the last environment, and it rose!!! HALLELUJAH!!

Yes, it went through a lot, but it flourished in all environments! AND IT ROSE!! EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!!!

Just like the cinnamon rolls, we are made to flourish and transform no matter the environment! As Maya Angelou says, Still I Rise!! That environment, which may be challenging, sets us up for the next phase and is all under our Father God’s watchful eye! It’s all a part of His Will. And we rise every time!!

What I love about Mary, Jacob, and Joseph is that they had a relationship with God. God instructed and guided them to bring His plan for their lives to fruition!

Can I encourage you to focus on God and spend time with him throughout the day, EVERYDAY, so that you know his voice, experience his love, and hear his commands.

You are meant to flourish no matter the environment! Stay close to God so that you can!

Yes, it is hard! Being in God’s will is difficult. In fact, Jesus told us we would have tribulation, but to take heart; He has overcome the world! James told us, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”‭‭James‬ ‭1‬:‭2‬-‭4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Yes, you may have to walk a long distance while pregnant! Alright Mary! Count it all joy!

Yes, you may have to get up in the middle of the night to start the long journey. Alright Joseph! Count it all joy!

Yes, you may have to work 20 years for your wife and wealth and be cheated all the while. Alright Jacob! Count it all joy!

But God!!! He sees it! He sees who is trying to harm you, and He won’t allow it! He told Laban, LEAVE JACOB ALONE!!! 💃🏾

Count it all joy!

Stay close to God so you can see things from a different perspective, and Count it all joy!

You were meant to flourish no matter the environment!

Crystal M. Heard

Speaking an Encouraging Word to the Weary