A while ago as a friend was praying for me, God had given her a picture of a rosebud tightly closed that had begun to open and she explained how she felt that God was showing her that I was the rose.
I remember at the time thinking, AWWHH!!! How sweet? That analogy was of the bud beginning to blossom and roses are so pretty and delicate and well, I’m not at all delicate so it kinda felt really special for God to liken me to a rose.
As the day went on the rose played on my mind. Have you ever felt like the Holy Spirit just follows you around and keeps poking you to get your attention? Like on that most flabby bit of your arm that seems to hurt that wee bit more than what a poke would feel like on a nice toned bicep. Eventually, you snap. What? What you bugging me for… you ever experience that? No! just me, ok! (eye rolls)
So after an afternoon of flabby arm pokes from the HS, I eventually shut down FB and Insta and pulled out my favourite Readers Digest gardeners manual. Jokes, of course, I googled it! HOW TO GROW A GOOD ROSE, like come on how hard can it be, all you need to do is bung it in the ground with a bit of miracle grow and bravo you have a lovely flower come summer (or spring according to our Bette).
I feel the wrath of every rose grower in the world condemn me to a life thrown in a pile of thorns ( lifetime ban from the local garden centre)
So with my sore arm and my trusty iPhone, I set about my fact-finding mission. It soon became very clear why God wanted me to spend some time looking. I’m pretty sure if I had looked up in that second and saw Jesus, he would have to be leant against the living room doorpost arms folded, legs crossed, eyebrows raised and a great big smirk all knowing proud, see I knew you would love this one expression on his face. ( how well he knows me)
Just this week this memory has come up in conversation at least twice, so, before my arm flab falls victim to painful prodding, I’ve decided to share it with you. What I feel God revealed to me about the careful care that goes into growing a beautiful rose.. i.e a beautiful ( healthy) me. But bear in mind God is the author of this one so he may speak differently to you as you read. I love how he does that. He breathes his power into ordinary words
Fun thought: I love how the whole Bible is made up of just 26 letters, that’s it! And through the power of the Holy Spirit, God speaks into our lives and brings so much meaning form those 26 letters eh! I LOVE IT!!!
Anyways green fingers at the ready…. here is our grow manual
THE SITE the rose plant needs to be positioned in the sun. Ok, I feel like he was easing me in gently to this analogy.. for a healthy rose we need THE SON we need Jesus Simples… Jesus came for us, we need him. Amen. Good start?!
“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 NLT
THE SOIL what are we planted in? We need to be planted in rich soil. Now hear me right. I’m not talking about expensive soil. We don’t need to live in a fancy house or the posh end of town, we need to be planted in good rich kingdom soil, life giving community of like minded people living out the gospel.
“And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!””
Mark 4:20 NLT
MULCH (I had to google this one) so basically this is a layer of protection, probably bark. I believe that we get this protection from our prayer life and our relationship with the father. And through reading the truth in the word every day
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
Philippians 4:6 NLT
WATER we can not sustain a life of joy and peace on our own because of the sinful nature of the world. We need God and a constant source of Gods grace and mercy as the living water to sustain us and keep us flourishing when faced with all the pain and suffering the world throws at us.
“They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”
Psalms 1:3 NLT
INSPECTION we need to keep a check on our heart and make sure our motives are pure and right and align with God’s word. We will be more tempted to stray in isolation. Stay connected and be honest and open to a trusted friend or pastor. Allow them to speak into your life. Regularly pray for God to search your heart and for him to convict you. He will gently correct your wrongs.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Psalms 139:23-24 NLT
PRUNE allow God to prune the things form your life that are preventing growth. As we grow in our relationship with God our heart will change. Priorities that were once so important to us change and things we once loved can become detrimental as we walk forward with God toward his purpose for our life. Let God eliminate these things from your life. Pruning may look very different for everyone and it can seem painful and it can leave you feeling raw and vulnerable. But God only ever takes something away to replace it with something better.
“He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.”
John 15:2 NLT
Beware for when a plant has been pruned and the cut is fresh the plant is most open to being infected by a disease. As are we when we have a fresh wound, when we feel hurt and vulnerable and weak. we are most susceptible to attack from the enemy. So be on your guard
“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.”
1 Corinthians 16:13 NLT
There you have it. Your guidelines to grow beautiful roses. What are you waiting for??
I will leave you with the words of the great theologian Bette Middler.
And just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
lies the seed… ( I’m thinking its more a bulb or a root
but hang with it)
that with the sun’s love ( son’s love)
IN THE SPRING BECOMES…… THE ROSE.
Thank you, Jesus,
love T x