Thanksgiving – what a wonderful day to take time and reflect on all the Lord has blessed us with in our lives. Right now with all the hardships in our life it is hard to be thankful for the circumstances we have found ourselves in through no fault of our own. However, the scriptures tell us to be thankful in all things:
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 5:20 “…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
It is hard to give thanks for the circumstances, that is true, but we can always be thankful to God for what we have and all His blessings. And if we can see beyond our current problems and accept the circumstances as God’s tool for something good in our life, then the blessings are even better. We have all heard, “what doesn’t hurt or kill you will make you stronger.”
T.V. has many shows telling you to come to Christ and your life will be a rose garden. Everything is all upbeat and happy. I think it is important that we raise our children with a realistic picture of our life in Christ. The truth is, Life In Christ IS a rose garden!
In the 70’s and 80’s I was a member of the Atlanta Rose Society with my father. We entered rose shows and I even tested for Jackson Perkins Roses. Rose gardens are HARD to maintain. There is so much to making the rose the beautiful flower it is when you cut it and put it on your table.
black spot – a fungus that causes the leaves to drop and weakens the plant ~ the black spot in a Christian’s life is sin and causes weakening in our daily walk, crippling us until we are of no use to Him.
Aphids – suck the sap out and inject their saliva which passes disease from one plant to another, weakening the plant and keeping it from proper photosynthesis. ~ when we allow ‘aphids’ in our life (parasitical non-Christian plans and life styles) to contaminate us with the ways of the world, we cannot grow in Him as He has planned. This is where we need to learn to be “IN” the world and not “OF” the world.
Root rot – roses do not like their ‘feet wet’. They need proper drainage so the soil mixture needs to be correct. The plant depends on its roots and if they are rotten the plant dies. ~ As Christians we too can get root rot. The ‘soil’ we are planted in and the ‘soil’ we plant in, must be properly conditioned by the Holy Spirit. If we are filling our ‘soil’ with more junk and ‘rocks’ then we will get root rot which will cause us to be unfruitful, and we will wither up and die. What we read, watch, and hear … what we allow our children to read, watch and hear, conditions our ‘soil’.
Pruning – you must cut a rose off the bush correctly if you want it to grow another flower. If it is cut wrong it will not produce correctly. ~ we must not shun the ‘pruning’ of the Holy Spirit. If we allow the Lord to ‘prune’ us correctly, we will produce fruit, many times over.
Thorns – ever notice that when you get a dozen roses from a floral shop that the thorns have been removed? That is because they do not want you to get stuck or scratched. They want the rose to be nothing but beauty, no thorns attached. The florist wants the rose to represent the store as a true beauty. ~ We must remove our ‘thorns’ daily as we walk among our family, friends and the world. We must be a true beauty, representing our Savior.
God promises us a rose garden. We will have black spot all around us to ward off. Aphids will try to devour us and we will constantly have to be on watch to prevent root rot. There will be pruning and it will hurt, but when we allow the Lord to prune us correctly, we will produce even more beautiful fruit. And finally, we must walk with Him daily removing all the thorns of our lives that would hurt others and be a true beauty to the world of God’s love for us.
Have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving and be thankful for the real ‘roses’ in your life, not things and possessions.