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. Then you have the flip side where people tell you that life is hard, even if you are a Christian, so deal with it. I think it is important that we raise our children with a realistic picture of our life in Christ. The truth is, THEY ARE BOTH RIGHT! Life In Christ IS a rose garden but, you can count on it…. life will be hard, regardless!
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. We are to be spotless.
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 wet feet. They need proper drainage so the soil mixture needs to be correct. The plant depends on its feet, or as we know them, roots. If they are wet all the time they will rot and 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 junk and rocks then we will get root rot. This will cause us to be unfruitful, and we will wither up and die. What we read, watch, and hear (and 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. That means do not “hedge trim across the top” and do not cut in the wrong place. It must be an angle cut above a 5 leaf in order for another rose to produce. It is VERY specific and it removes the bloom above the cut. The rose bush loses a bloom. If it is cut wrong it will not produce correctly, becoming ugly and without blooms. Then there is the winter pruning when the plant is cut to 1/3 of its normal size leaving only the pencil width stems. It seems harsh and it looks harsh but winter is coming and it will brace the bush for the harsh times ahead. We must not shun the pruning of the Holy Spirit, especially when we are in a ‘winter’ season. It will be specific and direct and we need to trust those times when something specific is pruned from our life. Sometimes it will feel so harsh because winter has begun, again. Sometimes we think spring has come only to be hit with a harsh winter storm. If we allow the Lord to prune us correctly, we will produce fruit, many times over regardless of the winters and their length.
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 and not stick and scratch all those we come in contact with.
God plants us as a rose in His garden. We will have black spot all around us to ward off. Aphids will constantly try to suck the very Christian life out of us and devour us. Root rot will try and sneak up on us and we must be constantly aware of where we plant our feet. Pruning is necessary and it will hurt but, we can trust the Master Gardner knows what is best for us. If we do not resist, we can grow from His careful shears and 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.
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.”
Blog by RBGreen copyright 2019 RBGreenDesigns.com