"...the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing:" (Isaiah 35: 1b-2a)
Just a couple of weeks ago I posted pictures of my rose bush in full bloom. It was beautiful and the fragrance was so thick that when I walked by I automatically stopped and took a big whiff before moving on! But, sadly to say, this beauty and fragrance is not to be had when I walk outside today!
Here's the reason. After having such heavy blooms during it's peak, the hot temperatures took a toll on the bush and all the flowers started fading and dropping their petals. And bad gardener that I am, I never took the time to go and cut off the "dead-heads" from the bush although I knew that was the proper thing to do!
Yesterday afternoon I could stand it no more. I knew I would not see nor smell many more red roses this summer if I didn't do something! So I put on my gloves, picked up some old scissors and went out to see what I could do to remedy the problem! I pruned every old dead flower I could find, put them in a five-gallon bucket and dumped them into a ditch.
I was surprised and happy to notice while doing the pruning that one branch of the rose bush has put on new buds in spite of all the deadness around it! There will be beautiful red roses again before long! And I'm sure that the whole bush will begin budding again soon also.
All this reminded me of our lives as Christians. When the conditions are all good, we bloom and grow and give off a delightful "fragrance" of the Lord to others around us. That is where we all long to be. But then along comes the hot temperatures, the sweltering sun, the lack of rain, and we begin to dry up. Here's where we should have the insight to start snipping off those "dead branches" in our lives before they start sucking the life out of us. But, as I already said, I'm not a good gardener, so I usually put it off spiritually as well. Then things get so bad that we are not producing any flowers or any fragrance and the Master Gardener has to come along and prune off the old deadheads! He does that through His Word....whether He uses a preacher, another teacher, a godly friend, or just time in His Word during my devotions. These words in John give us such a clear picture of this procedure: "I AM the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." John 15: 1-2
As I pruned my rosebush the old song "Where the Roses Never Fade" (words & music by Robert & Janie West Metzgar, 1929) kept coming to my mind. Do y'all know that old song? Here are a few of the lyrics:
I am going to a city, Where the streets with gold are laid;
Where the tree of life is blooming, And the roses never fade.
Here they bloom but for a season
Soon their beauty is decayed.
I am going to a city,
Where the roses never fade.
Looking forward to seeing new blooms soon on my red rose bush and also new growth in my spiritual life! And looking forward to eternity in a city where NOTHING ever fades away! And if you're one who will be enjoying heaven with me someday, I'm really looking forward to that!
To God be the glory!