MY FADED ROSE
Thorns, found to be present on the most beautiful of God's floral creation, has somehow been excluded from the stem of my rose. There is nothing to stand between my rose and total acceptance, even when harm to my rose is intended. God alone is his protection and his provider.
Leaves of healing grow in abundance on my rose. When there is a need for understanding, when compassion is sought, my rose stands at the ready.
The Psalms tell us that which is planted by a river of water will ever proper. My rose has roots that run deeply in to God's stream of precious elixir, the fruit of its depth clearly observable by all who have known my rose.
A blanket of snow has covered the once green lawn from which my rose springs. Will my rose endure the unseasonably cold bite of Mother Nature? Never fear; from amidst the delicate flakes of ivory shines the face of my beloved rose, directing a thankful smile toward the sun that now peaks from beyond the departing clouds.
Time, we are told, waits for no man. Spring turns to Summer, and Summer to Fall. The clouds that brings us the vital rains, are replaced by the chafing sun, and the brilliance of the sun gives way to the blustery winds of Autumn.
The Autumn leaves, once a glistening emerald green, have become a crisp golden brown. Another chapter torn from the calender of life. Days, weeks and months seem to fly, never pausing to allow one to adust to the ravishes it has bestowed upon us. As I visit my friend the rose of late I find the abundance of the vitality and essence of life I'd become so accustomed to has become strained and belabored. The intent to satisfy and please remains present as in times past, but the ease of deliverance has begun to wane. The bright petals that once greeted me are become tarnished and listless. Those leaves of healing so ever at the ready to serve, now find it difficult to serve the one to whom they are attached. The stalk that stood so proud and tall, is bereft of its ability to sustain the head of my fading rose. Time, it appears, has indeed taken its tole on my precious rose, as it will on all God's creation in the unfolding of years.
As I sit in my chair observing my friend the rose I find myself suspended between two sentiments. The wasting away of my struggling rose and the knowing that his allotted time has expired places me in a frame of mind to release my rose and allow it to pass into its next cycle of life without resistance. Then, as I contemplate times gone by, the value my rose has provided both me and others acquainted with my rose, I can not help but endeavor to hang on to the slivers of hope that flitter through my thoughts like butterflies in the wind.
Today my Rose has delivered his last farewell. All his petals, all his leaves of healing, lie beneath his withered stalk. Solomon tells us that all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? Solomon has spoken from his own failed experience, he did not know my rose. A plant most beautiful is of naught if it touches no other being in a positive way. A spark to itself will die to itself, having been brilliant for a season, then once again become the elements from which it was taken. An apple blossom that has had its nectar withdrawn by a bee, has fed a host of living creatures by what it surrendered of itself, and subsequently has had deposited within itself the means by which to feed and give life to many others through the fruit it will then produce.
My rose is one touched by the finger of God. And through that touch, he has touched the lives of many in who's memory and heart he will remain.
Solomon adds to his above soliloquy: One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. Life goes on. One cycle passes, and another begins. As we examine the life of Solomon, we see a succession of failures. Jesus tell us a tree is known by its fruit. Examine the fruit of my rose. Tell me if I overstate the value of my rose.
1I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. 2As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. 3As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. 4He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. 5Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love. 6His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me. 7I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please. (Song of Solomon 2::)
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of
the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the
seat of the scornful.
1Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. 2He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. 3And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? 4Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. 5Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; 6Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day. 7For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. 8Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; 9Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. 10But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? 11As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: 12So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. 13O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. 15Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands. (Job 14:)
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD
pitieth them that fear him.
3The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. 6The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: 7The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. 8The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:)
8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. 9Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 12Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (James 1:)
21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. 25And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; (Phil 1:)
23Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! 24That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! 25For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. (Job 19:)
51Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (1Cor 15:)
1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (1John 3:)