Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Sweet Fragrance

I have written about her before, this humble little rose bush who preaches me a sermon every time I walk past her. She was one of the first flowers I planted when we moved into this home twenty-eight years ago. In my gardening ignorance, I chose a spot that is not very conducive to rose bushes. Consequently, she has never grown into the beautiful rose bush I had in mind when I planted her.

Every spring I cut off the branches that have died, and she gets more and more fragile. She really doesn't look like much, and I sometimes think I should just dig her up and throw her away.

But then the first rose appears, and I am drawn to bury my face in the delicate petals and inhale the sweet aroma. It is amazing that such a spindly looking plant can produce such a beautifully fragrant flower. We cannot walk by her without stopping - to look and smell - and wonder.

Every spring she speaks to me about the humble vessel that I am and the potential the Father has placed within me. When I look at my life, it pales in comparison with others around me - those I admire and would so like to emulate. I have not done great things for the kingdom.

Sweetly she reminds me that the important thing is to bloom where I am planted, to put down deep roots, and to be a sweet fragrance to the world around me. The Father does not look at me with worldly eyes, He looks for the beauty within. He does not measure greatness as the world measures greatness. He asks only that I live my life in such a way that I am the beautiful aroma of Christ to those around me. He will do the rest.

"But thanks be to God who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;"
II Cor. 2: 14,15

This is my contribution to Ann's "Cultivating the Live God Desires."