He Gives Victory

 

So many times I have despaired when there was something in my life that I wanted to turn around or get the victory over.  I can identify with Paul when he said, “I don’t do the things I know I should, and do the thing I should not do.” He talks about the struggle in Romans 7:14-25  & then he gives the answer for victory in  Romans 8:1-17

Are you facing those struggles right now?  I have discovered a key in my own struggles, not only in what Paul says, but in the story of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:1-30) and his battle with a overwhelming army that would have totally destroyed their nation. I love this story, it gives me hope in dealing with what seems an impossible “giant” or “army” in my own life.

  King Jehoshaphat is distraught when messengers came and told him, “A vast army from Edom made up of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites have declared war and are marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea.”

Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news. He ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting, then went up to the temple and poured out his heart to God. “O LORD, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!  Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us. We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”

 

His answer came, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march out against them. But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory!”  (emphasis mine)

Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”  After encouraging the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the LORD and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: “Give thanks to the LORD; his faithful love endures forever!” At the very moment when they began to sing and give praise, the LORD caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to begin attacking each other.   So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.

God is mighty indeed!  When I stand firm, and accept God’s promise to me for victory, I can become  like Jehoshaphat’s choir in singing and praising the Lord.  The hardest struggle I have found is to take my eyes or focus off my addictive behavior and focus on Jesus.  Also what has helped me, is to find Bible texts, memorize them, and then use those promises to redirect my mind.

God will give you the victory you desperately want.

 

Love to you,

 

Ruth

 


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March birth flower,

 

Significance, Meaning And Symbolism:

Jonquil flower actually refers to a specific type of daffodil known as Narcissus jonquilla.  The name “Jonquil” comes from the Spanish word junquillo, which originates from the Latin word juncus, meaning “a rush” or “reed”  It usually blooms in the late spring with up to five blossoms per stem.  Jonquil comes in three basic colors, white, yellow, and orange or a combination of these colors.  It also has a truly delightful scent and is the most fragrant of all narcissus species

Jonquil is often mistakenly referred to as a narcissus or daffodil because of the similarity in flower shape and color. But they are a very specific type of the genus. A true jonquil flower is tiny in comparison to the daffodil or narcissus, with dark green and round rush-like leaves which differ from the flat-shaped leaf of all other Narcissus species.

The exact origin of the name Narcissus is unknown, but it is often linked to a Greek word for intoxicated (narcotic) and the a youth from mythology of that name.

Meanings Equated To Jonquil:

It symbolizes rebirth and spring, as they are some of the first flowers to emerge in large numbers following the spring thaws. It also stands for friendship, domestic happiness, devotion, unequaled love and “the sun is always shining.”   It can convey sympathy to people when life just seems to get a little overwhelming for them.  Moonglow’s Jonquil Flower represents a desire for reciprocal love. Some people claim that those born in March having the jonquil as their birth flower, seem to be romantic, generous, receptive and affectionate. The Jonquil Moondrop flower is the perfect gift to give to that special someone to let them know that your feelings of love for each other is mutual. The jonquil has traditionally symbolized desire, but in modern times it is typically used to show cheer or sympathy towards someone in a difficult situation.

Victorian Interpretation:  Although many yellow flowers have a negative connotation, the jonquil isn’t one of them.  It means the desire for affection to be returned and also requited love.  On a sadder note, the jonquil also means sympathy.  All these meanings might have sprung from the Greek myth about Proserpina.  The story goes that she was gathering lilies when she was kidnapped by Pluto, the god of the underworld.  As the god carried her away, she dropped the lilies that she picked and they turned into jonquils.  Their blossoms hang down as if to say they are dropping down in sorrow for Proserpina.  They were also attributed the characteristics of Pisces the twelfth sign of the zodiac which begins its cycle at the end of winter—this falls around February 19-March 20.  These characteristic are being romantic, generous, receptive, honest & affectionate.

Also during the Victorian era when a lover wanted to convey a hidden romantic meaning, they would send jonquil flowers.

These flowers were also used to express, “You are an angel”.

Today, for March celebrations the Jonquils are given to celebrate the birth of a new baby or are included in wedding flowers or a wedding bouquet .

History

Jonquil is native to meadows and woods in Spain and Portugal, and was introduced into the Far East prior to the tenth century.  It has become naturalized in many other regions: France, Italy, Turkey, Columbia, and the US states of Utah, Illinois, and Ohio, as well as the southern states from Texas to Maryland.  Jonquil flower has been cultivated since the 18th century in France as the strongest of the Narcissus species.

Medieval and Renaissance writers described the name Narcissus as a genus in 1753 at which time there were only six known species.

In China the Jonquil is used prominently for decorating during the Chinese New Year. There are other festivals around the world celebrating this holiday with the jonquil.

In Wales the Jonquil is referred to as a Daffodil and is considered to be the flower of Wales.

The Romans brought daffodils to Britain. There are many myths and legends about the origins of this tradition and it is believed that birthday celebrations originated in the Roman Empire as well as the origins of birth month flowers, such as the Jonquil (aka Daffodil or Narcissus), could be said to date back to these times. They also believed the sap of the flower had healing powers.

In Germany the flower is known as Ostergloken or ‘Easter bells’

In England they are known as Lent Lilies where Prince Charles receives a single daffodil annually as a tradition. It is considered a rent payment for the unattended lands located in the Isles of Scilly.

The Druids saw that daffodils symbolized purity and accepted it as their national flower

The Persians celebrate Nawruz (New Year’s) with daffodils.

Arabians used it as an aphrodisiac and also a New Year’s decoration.

Arabs and Egyptians used narcissus as a wreath to hang at funerals.

Folklore, Superstitions & Legends:  

For the ancient Greeks, the jonquil is believed to be the flower of the dead since it is believed that it’s a flower that grows in the underworld.

Numerology Myth: Jonquil has the expression number 8.  The positive characteristics associated to this number are power, practicality, and high material goals and symbolized by the planet Saturn. The negative qualities of the number 8 are – cold and uncaring.

It was believed that bad luck would occur if a single daffodil was taken into a home and the best way to avoid such misfortune was to give a full bouquet as a present and the household would be filled with good luck.  In Welsh folklore, the person who spots the first jonquil of a new year is said to enjoy an entire year of wealth.

In Maine, USA, it was a superstition that if you pointed to the jonquil with your index finger, it is not going to bloom.

 

Uses for the Jonquil Flower

Celebrations and special events in March, such as Birthday, Wedding, Christening and other Celebrations

There are many different uses for the jonquil flowers. Because they are bright and airy flowers which brighten up any part of the landscape.  These flowers look great throughout yards,

flowerbeds, and commercial landscaping, they bring light to darkened area and make any place they are planted look beautiful. The jonquil is also great in bouquets and flower arrangements.

 

In The Garden

The Jonquil is a hardy bulb, lying dormant after the leaves and flower stem die back in the summer, the roots also wither.  After some years, the roots shorten pulling the bulbs deeper into the ground (these are called contractile roots). The bulbs develop from the inside, pushing the older layers outwards which become brown and dry  thus forming an outer shell.  This tunic or skin have been found in some wild species to have up to 60 layers.  While the plant appears dormant above ground the flower stalk start developing within the bulb surrounded by two to three deciduous leaves and their colorless sheaths.  After flowering the leaves turn yellow and die back once the seed pod (fruit) is ripe. Most species are dormant from summer to late winter, then flowering in the spring and blooming from February to May

Narcissi tend to be long-lived bulbs, which can be propagated by division, or seeds.  The plant’s known pests and disease include viruses, fungi, the larvae of flies, mites and nematodes.  Some Narcissus species have become extinct, while others are threatened by increasing urbanization and tourism.

Herbal and Medicinal Uses

 Warning – do not try any of this on your own!

Essential oils of jonquil are used in aromatherapy to help people get relief from stress, ease the tension in their bodies and calm their troubled minds.

Like other members of their family, narcissi produce a number of different alkaloids, which provide some protection for the plant, but may be poisonous if accidentally ingested. This property has been exploited for medicinal use in traditional healing and has resulted in the production of galantamine for the treatment of Alzheimer’s dementia.

The bulb, leaf, and flower have been used to make medicine.  Some have used a bulb preparation as a poultice to treat wounds, burns, stains, and joint pain.

During the Medieval time Jonquil/Daffodil juice was used as a cure for baldness.  Arabians used it as an aphrodisiac.

 

Notes

All parts of the jonquil are toxic.  When swallowed, it can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.  Eating the bulb can cause severe irritation of the mouth and cause stomach upset.  These symptoms are usually not life threatening and resolve within a few hours.

If you pick or buy a jonquil bouquet – be sure to keep these flowers in a vase all their own. The stems exude a thick sap into the water. This sap plugs the cut end of other flowers, preventing them from absorbing water.

Mainly because of the sweet fragrance, in antiquity jonquil’s oil was used for perfume.  In our modern era, it still is a component of many perfumes.

 


References:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonquil_(color) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissus_jonquilla                 http://www.birthdaygems.org/birth-month-flowers/march-birth-flower.htm https://www.babiesonline.com/flowersbirthmonth/jonquil.asp http://www.whatsmybirthflower.com/march-birth-flower/   http://www.auntyflo.com/flower-dictionary/jonquil http://www.canadianflowerdelivery.com/jonquil.aspx https://moonglow.com/jonquil-march-birth-flower-february-20th-%E2%80%93-march-20th https://www.reference.com/world-view/meaning-jonquil-flower-2a356037af55fd40# https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissus_(plant) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pisces_(astrology   http://www.todayshomeowner.com/whats-the-difference-between-daffodils-jonquils-and-buttercups/

 


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2 comments

  • Thanks, Ruth. I am blessed, through my life in the SDA church with scores of Bible verses that help me change focus when the enemy is mauling my mind. The discipline of serious Bible study is life-changing!

    Blessings for your Journey,
    Lynda

  • Glad this text and message was a blessing for you. There are so many texts if memorized will pop into our minds just when we need them. I did not memorize a lot of texts when I was a child, but through the years I have gleaned a few. Recently I memorized Psalm 91. It has been such a blessing, just one line from it came to mind one day when I was talking to someone. It made me thankful to have memorized it.

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