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."



  1. But you are doing great things for the
    kingdom, Linda. You encourage and inspire
    others with each post you write! The rose
    is lovely...and so are you.

  2. I could have written the same thing Sandy did - and it is so true! I wish I had the gift of writing and of finding spiritual applications in everyday life as you have been given!

  3. Beautiful, Linda, as always. A lovely message for us all. Bloom where you are planted. Hmmm. Not always simple!

  4. good words
    pretty rose

  5. Yes, very thoughtful, and so many applications, we can nearly give up on something, or someone, and then we reap a reward for persevering, and He perseveres with us.

  6. the rose is beautiful and so are you words (o:

  7. "... to bloom where I am planted, to put down deep roots, and to be a sweet fragrance to the world around me..."

    How do you ALWAYS know exactly what I need to hear, Linda?? This week I've been struggling-- w/ busyness and "burdens" and tasks too lengthy to list... and I've been grumbling. Complaining. Arguing. B/c it's feels like too much. *Because* I've been trying to accomplish it all in my own strength, and b/c I've been resisting my call, straining against my own personal garden-- where He's planted me so perfectly. I wouldn't desire any other place, but sometimes I complain.... when instead I should be digging in deeper-- deeper in Him-- so that the beauty of His life might shine forth, just like that beautiful rose.

    Oh, thank you again, Linda... you ARE doing great things. Ministry is great, and you minister every single time your pen scratches paper (or your finger to the cursor :)... thank you!

  8. Carrie @

    Hi, Linda! I absolutely LOVE your quilt blog theme--very precious and so like my life in Christ.

    Your rose story reminds me of my gardening escapades. Just this week I was outside by the driveway and noticed some weeds growing in a rock-filled border. I was prepared to tug hard and strong on these weeds, but to my surprise, their roots easily dislodged from the rocky soil. As I tossed each weed into a pile, I was reminded of Jesus' parable of the Four Soils.

    Isnt amazing when we can see the Bible in living color at our front (or back) door? Thank you for a beautiful post.

  9. oh absolutely , Linda.
    You are a rose .
    We all are . Sometimes blooming in cold grey November, drought and heat , too damp and cool. It is a wonder. It is , a mystery.

  10. The flowers preach to me too. Right now, the lilac is crescendoing to a sweet high pitch. :)