I have 3 “mini” rose bushes in my garden that I have had for several years. They are different colours, red, pink and an orangy peach colour. The pink bush has struggled and our resident bunny has decided he likes its leaves! The red has done fairly well and produced your typical “mini” rose blooms. The peach has done slightly better.
This year however, my peach coloured “mini” rose bush has decided it wants to be a regular rose bush. It’s blossoms have been bigger and more prolific. The most amazing thing about it is how it has weathered, well, the weather!
Here it is the beginning of a New Year and that crazy plant is still standing and blooming! I have watched it be tossed around by strong winds in rainstorms and several times it has been bent over to the ground by snow. Each time I have said, “Well, I guess it’s done now.”. Yet each time it has lifted it’s glorious heads and continued to stare at me through my kitchen window.
I want to be like that “mini” rose bush. Fruitful and strong no matter what the world throws at me. Deeply rooted in the soil of God’s written Word and drawing my strength from the vine of life, Jesus.
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word…” Hebrews 1:3 NIV
The blooms on this rose bush have been such a gift of encouragement through this year of change, upheaval and frustration. They speak to me, that despite it all, there is beauty and good to be enjoyed. There is hope of raising my head again to reflect the beauty and joy of my Lord and Saviour, the risen Christ.
“The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” Psalm 145:14 NIV
As this New Year dawns upon us, let us remember our hope is not in what it will bring us, what resolutions we can keep, the relationships we look forward to renewing, the “freedom” we desperately long for, but in Jesus. Because no matter what 2021 brings our way, Christ can lift us up and sustain us if we put our trust and faith in Him. When we look to Him for our purpose, our love, our identity and our sustenance He will provide!
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4 NIV
These rose blooms will eventually fade and fall off, which is to be expected, and I am okay with that. They have been a blessing from God! They were a gentle reminder that He is the sustainer of all things, He is the Sovereign Lord who gets to decide what each day holds. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I don’t even know if I will see tomorrow. I want to! I want to see my grandchildren grow up, I want to celebrate many more years of marriage with my best friend, I want to watch more sunsets and curl my toes in the sand and I long to see loved ones come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ my King, but only the Lord knows the number of my days. He is in charge and I am so glad of that! There is no one else fit for the job!
“The fact is that God has us exactly where he wants us. He never manages a poor schedule, and he never gets a wrong address.” Paul David Tripp, A Shelter in the Time of Storm
So when things get tough this year, when lockdowns happen, kitchen faucets stop working, paying the bills is a challenge, loved ones get sick, parents start to lose their memory, and you feel all alone, remember Christ is sufficient to carry you through. Run to him with it all, whatever it may be, and He will be your provider.
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NASB
Bloom on my dear friends and radiate the love of Christ to those around you as you nourish yourself with the inexhaustible grace and love of God!
I leave you with this prayer from God’s Word;