I love the house Andrew and I live in. It's our first home together, so of course it's so special and perfect for us. One of the things that drew me in when we were buying was a line of gorgeous rose bushes out front.
These same bushes have quickly become one of my least favorite things. I never realized how much effort a plant like that requires--I've spent many a day out there cutting back branches and hoping to get them back to their full splendor to no avail. I haven't a green thumb, I guess.
Soon after they bloomed last season, all of the sudden, they just died. Like literally only a couple of days later. I may not be Martha Stewart, but I'm pretty sure flowers should last a little longer than that. They became horribly unfortunate looking and caused me to scoff at them every time I pulled into my driveway..."those dang rose bushes."
I recently made plans with my grandmother for her to come visit and help me remove them from our year and place some sensible, small bushes instead. But, oh, how I missed them blooming and adding color to our house.
Last weekend, on a whim, I got my pruners out and tried to ever so gently cut them back one last time, before I gave them the axe. It was their last chance to prove me wrong, because I was tired of dealing with the brown, shriveled up plant that was nothing but an eyesore to me.
And then, out of nowhere, I happened to look outside yesterday, and there they were. In all their glory, bloomed and full. I'm pretty sure that IS how plants work, but if I didn't know any better, I would think they turned from brown to fully bloomed overnight. It caught me off guard and literally made me stop and smell the roses.
After all of that, I read a devotional this morning about God's mercy and it got me thinking. How blessed am I that the Lord looks at me and, through the world's eyes, could see just a "shriveled up old plant," but He chooses to see my beauty. He chooses to still nurture and provide for me until all the old is gone and I am new, and I bloom. Until I grow something that produces fruit, something beautiful to the eyes.
How quick I was to turn my back on that plant and make other plans for that plot of land.
I'm so thankful that in my lowest points, where I'm so far from being fruitful and so ugly in my own sins. Jesus sees only His beautiful child, worthy of love and affection. I'm thankful that He hasn't given up on me yet and continues to prune away the "old me" with every day that passes.
And now I'm thankful, too, that I haven't gotten out my shovel yet, because I think those little rose bushes have a lot of life left in them and a lot of joy to spread. Xoxo