Dead Roses Aren't So Bad
Do you know how roses are grown?
We buy an already grown plant and transport it home because it's easy. We zoom past the beginning process to the end result, sit back in a lawn chair, relax with a glass of lemonade, and enjoy the view of our beautiful, newly planted roses.
But what about before the rose bush is loaded onto a truck and delivered to Home Depot? What about before it was a baby rose bush? Where o the seeds that are planted into the soil actually come from?
Apparently, after a rose has budded, there is something called a "rose hip" that forms beneath the flower. Inside the hip, seeds form, and once the hip is ripened, it's collected and cut open. Seeds are then removed from the inside, washed clean, dried out and planted back into the ground.
What struck me most as I researched this though was the fact that many roses never produce rose hips. They are pruned, or "deadheaded", before the hips ever form. It's only when the dying flowers are left alone that the rose is given enough time to fully form a rose hip. It's only when the dying flowers are not cut off that new seeds can grow, giving it the chance to produce new life.
How many times do we try to cut things out of our lives too early? Our marriages, our financials, our weaknesses - they don't look good, they don't feel good, so we throw in the towel and quit instead of persevering through it.
But girl, God uses the weakness, He uses the struggle, He uses the pain. Sometimes we just have to sit in our garden of dead flowers and wait it out while God forms our rose hips. Sometimes we have to endure the dead to obtain the life.
"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." (James 1:2-4 MSG)
So many people in the Bible had to wait it out. Moses lived in the desert for years before God called him to save Israel from slavery. Then he had to walk aimlessly and wait in the desert again, leading the Israelites to the promise land.
Joseph stayed in prison for a couple years before he was given his royal status. Don't you think He would have rather skipped over that part? But maybe, while sitting there, God was able to teach him all he needed to be able to interpret dreams and help lead Egypt.
There is a time and a season for everything. There is a purpose brought out of everything we go trough. Struggle, trials, tests, flaws, weakness, pain - it all leads towards new life for us when we stick with God and persevere in faith.
We may not always feel good. We may not always look good. But if we could just leave the dead roses a little longer, endure the circumstances we don't like, embrace the flaws and weaknesses we've got, then we just might see the beauty behind the ugly. Our faith will be made stronger, our minds wiser, and our roots deeper into God.
"And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold." (Job 23:10b NLT)