This past year I have made several trips to my home state of Maine. The main reason for these trips was the death of my brother and the ceremonies we had for him at different times. I visited with my mother at the same time. She is getting advanced in years and we have a good relationship. We both enjoyed our time together in spite of the hard circumstances. When I visit, I like to see some of the more hidden parts of Maine’s rocky coast. One place, in particular, is Schoodic Peninsula. It is a part of Acadia National Park based on the mainland across from Mt. Desert Island.

The last time I visited Schoodic Point, I took a number of pictures of the rocks and the ocean. In one of the photos, I noticed something which I hadn’t seen when I took the photo. I had taken a picture of some irises growing in a crack in the rocks. When I looked at the picture afterward, I realized that not only were the irises growing in a crack in the rocks, but they were also growing in a small cleft of the rocks behind them.

Thinking about this, I remembered how  God placed Moses in the cleft of a rock when the Lord passed by him (Exodus 33). The Merriam-Webster definition states that the word cleft actually has 2 definitions. The first one is a “space or opening made by or as if by splitting: Fissure.” The second definition states that a cleft is “a usually V-shaped indented formation: a hollow between ridges or protuberances.”

In Exodus 33, Moses could not see the full extent of God’s glory because God said that Moses would die if he did. So God protected him, letting Moses see the backside of God. The cleft speaks of God’s protection. Just like the iris was protected from the elements of the often storm-ravaged coast of Maine. It was also a promise to Moses as Moses didn’t want to go farther with God unless the presence of God went with him and the Israelites.

The iris growing up through the fissures of the rocks at Schoodic Point is also a promise. It makes us aware of the promise of beauty of Christ’s life in us when we go through hard circumstances. God brings fruit into our lives from our trials. It also speaks of perseverance. God will often make a way for us when circumstances around us are difficult. One would never imagine something beautiful like an iris blooming in the crags of the rocks next to the ocean. At least, I had never thought I would see such a thing.

Beauty and promise will find a way to bloom in our lives too when we go through hard times. You never know when a circumstance will turn you into a beautiful flower where the light of God’s love can shine on you and through you.