The writers of are celebrating their fifteen year landmark by making their 365 daily devotional book, God Moments, available as a free digital download! A total of thirty-six GABC writers have faithfully captured “moments of God’s presence” in their lives to encourage your own spiritual journey. You can find God Moments on, iTunes, and

NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Beauty in Barren Places

I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
Joshua 1:5

Last month, while jeeping on an alpine trail at 12,500 feet altitude, I was astounded at the bounty of glorious flowers. There were natural-formed bouquets of golden sunflowers, delicate lavender blooms scattered among them, and an array of pink and white blossoms peeking around the rocks. 

How does all this beauty survive in this poor soil, high, cold, and rocky environment?

Have you ever noticed in yourself, and in others, the most spiritual growth and beautiful fruits have come out of life’s most difficult situations?

Those places where the going is tough, rocks and boulders seem to block every move? Where the winds of loneliness chill you, and there doesn’t seem to be enough oxygen in deep breaths or sighs? You know God loves you, but, some moments you feel weak, weary, and worried. These times in my life have grown me more than the bright periods of sunshine and happiness.

In the struggles, Jesus has been there in so many ways to gently goad, guide, and grow me.  He has been my generous, loving shepherd, and encourager in the bleak places.

Thank you, Father, that You have not wasted our bleak, struggling times. With You, even our rocky times are fertile with spiritual growth.

Claudia Jackson

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