Roses are red…

This time of year, in our backyard, our roses bloom…multiple times. We have various colors, and I love to put them in bud vases and sit them in our kitchen window. When I look at it, I am reminded of how we are like a rose. 
My favorite thing about the rose is it’s thorns.  I suspect that many often wonder why a flower that is so precious and beautiful was created to also contain thorns. To me, it is comforting that something with such sharp edges can be a part of something so beautiful.  It reminds me that despite my imperfections, mistakes, and missteps God sees me as beautiful. It also reminds me to look past the imperfections, mistakes, and missteps of others and see them through the eyes of God as well. 

Until I married my husband, who is trying to recreate the garden of Eden in our backyard, I had no idea the amount of pruning that went into keeping up our beautiful roses.  It is in the pruning, the wiping away of and starting anew, that makes the roses bloom so beautifully over and over again. My little gardener of a husband refers to it as deadheading!!
What a harsh sounding word for something so delicate and beautiful.  However, I think when it comes to our own pruning in life, we have a harsh and negative perspective of it. When we are being pruned to blossom in our own faith walk, it can feel as if we are being deadheaded. 
It is hard to surrender. 
It is difficult to face change. 
A “no” hurts the ears. 
A mistake brings shame. 
Silence shadows a needed answer.
Doubt deters direction. 

Yet, we must be pruned. We must go through the hard moments of change, surrender, repentance, and waiting.  As we stick it out, may we realize God uses the dark, the hard, the empty, the uncertainty to shape us, grow us, and make us into the beautiful garden of Christ followers the Lord has planned for us to become in this world.

Imagine the wilderness whooping for joy,
    the desert’s unbridled happiness with its spring flowers.
It will happen! The deserts will come alive with new growth budding andblooming,
    singing and celebrating with sheer delight.
The glory of Lebanon’s cedars and the majesty of Carmel and Sharon
    will spill over to the deserts.
The glory of the Eternal One will be on full display there,
    and they will revel in the majestic splendor of our God.
(Isaiah 35:1-2, The Voice)

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