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More From Mary Hunt Webb

February 17, 2021 by Mary Hunt Webb (New Mexico, USA)

The first time I noticed the broom bush was as I was entering a doctor’s office. The nondescript bush of green sticks was outside the entrance, but there was nothing to attract my attention. There were some skinny dry pods on it, but the bush wasn’t spectacular. When I returned to that office in spring, it displayed bright yellow flowers, and exuded a wonderful come-hither scent that lured me over to inhale its lovely fragrance!

Then I began to notice broom bushes all over town!

It wasn’t until my next yearly tromp through the Bible that I noticed the reference to the “broom bush” in 1 Kings 19. That caused me to research it. In New Mexico, we call it Spanish Broom, but throughout the world, the plant also goes by the name of Scottish Broom, French Broom, or Mediterranean Broom. There are apparently different varieties so that in some parts of the world it reaches the height of a tree. The broom bush can get 5 to 6 feet tall here, but there is not sufficient space beneath for a person to sit under it as mentioned in the Bible. The broom bush/tree can be invasive in some areas, and there are concerns about toxicity if it is consumed. I have noticed that after a bush gets to a certain size, homeowners cut it back. In most cases, it rises again.

Brooms tolerate poor soil, need good drainage and require little care. They don’t thrive in wet climates, but prefer dry environments. Some blossoms are all yellow, some are yellow with a bit of red, and others are closer to being orange.

My comparison of the broom bush to the Christian life is that there are times for all of us when nothing seems to be happening. We pray and pray but we don’t see results. Like the broom bush in winter, it may not be the right season for anything to happen, but in due time, events may occur that cause us to marvel at them.

This photo appeared on the back
cover of the January/February 2021
issue of The Upper Room.

Although it is easy to tell others to wait and not give up hope, I have the same difficulty as everyone else. I tend to give up on the promises God has made to me in certain areas. I recently had to read my own meditation again to remember that God is faithful and will keep his promise; I just have to trust God.

Since not everyone that subscribes to the online version has access to the hard copy, I am including the photo of me that appears on the back of the current UR issue. While it is a happy photo, it was taken at a sad time. My husband’s uncle had just passed away and we were near the small Kansas town where he and our aunt had made their home. Since horses get attached to their owners, I felt they might wonder where their “daddy” was. My husband and I went out to the corral to console the horses. I was wearing a straw hat and the horse decided that was lunch! He was trying to get hold of my hat so I put it behind my back, and that’s when my husband snapped the photo! I don’t often like photos of myself, but that’s one of my favorites. In case you are wondering, that horse and another were later sold to another horse fancier, so they found a good home.

My husband and I pray that we can reflect our Lord to others. Toward that end, we have a website. We welcome you to explore our postings on our Webbsite at:  


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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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