Thursday, December 24, 2009


Last year, our Women’s group at church asked me to present a message at our annual Christmas Tea, and this is what I felt the Lord wanted me share with them. A couple of you might have read this before because OC let me post it last year on her blog…

The message was about Roses and how God’s people and His promises to us are a lot like them. Roses come in many different kinds, each being beautiful in its own way. Roses, like people, have different looks and colors, and most of them have some thorns which are there for their protection.

Often people develop thorns to protect themselves through life. Sometimes it is because of the abuse or neglect of others in their lives, and sometimes it is because of the trials of life… our environment, illnesses or accidents that happen. People tend to use their thorns keep others away so that they don’t get to close, and maybe hurt them again. The people who care for them must learn to work carefully around people like that, and ask for God’s wisdom, love and patience to help them grow into the beautiful roses that God meant them to be. I especially found this to be true with many of the foster children we have had in our home.

Roses come from many different places, like people’s different cultures. They are developed in many different types of soils, some being healthy or like a “hot house” environment which tends to grow delicate blooms and some in poor soil which tends to develop blooms that might not be as frilly to look at, but often end up hardier and stronger.

One thing that is interesting about roses is that they can’t be forced open ahead of time, or they will die. When we have children, friends (either old friends or new ones), or even enemies, we need to live a life that will leave a beautiful scent that will draw them toward God through the example of our lives, instead of trying to force them to be what we want them to be WHEN we want them to be that way.

Forcing “the rosebud” will cause it to die or not reach the full potential that God meant for it to have. It is often hard to wait for God’s timing, but He always knows what is best. He will lead us, and/or those we love and care about, or show us the way to the place that will bring about the Joy, Love, and Peace that He came so long ago in that manger to give us.

Sometimes, the promises God gives, have thorns to protect US from trying to pick them before they are ready… to teach us patience or other lessons we need to learn before we are mature enough to handle the promise. We are God’s children, and like children, we need to mature enough to be responsible when we receive a promise. You wouldn’t give a car to a five year old not matter how much he begged for it (at least not if you are a wise parent) even though you may promise to give one to them eventually.

Some of the promises that God gives us, were given at the time of His son’s birth which I celebrate this season. Other promises that He has given are still to come, like Jesus’ promise to return. The following are a few of the promises we have been given.

Peace: John 14: 26 & 27 The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, which I will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you… Peace I give to you… not as the world gives. Don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

Love & Joy: John 15:10 & 11 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, as I have obeyed my father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy will be in you AND that YOUR joy may be complete.

Our family: Prov. 22: 6 Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (When “old”—not necessarily when a teen, when they are often thorny and may hurt us for a while)

Healing: Prov. 3: 7 & 8 Do NOT be wise in your own eyes! Fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body, and nourishment to your bones.

Mary was given a promise. The promise was that she would bear the Son of God, and that he would be the Messiah. Jewish people, at that time, thought that “The Messiah” was coming as a reigning King that was going to wipe out their enemies and bring peace. They didn’t think about the writings of Isaiah 52: 13 thru all of Chapter 53, where God’s chosen one is shown to be a suffering servant first. These scriptures describe, clearly, Jesus’ life and crucifixion, over five hundred years before it happened. The promise of the reigning Messiah is one that is still going to be fulfilled when Jesus returns.

Still, this must have been very confusing to Mary… King’s aren’t born of poor people… They aren’t born in stables… OR, maybe they have been. Let’s take a quick look at some of the Jewish people’s leaders (God’s Roses…)

There was Joseph, who was born 11th in the line of his family, at a time when the first born was given the blessing. He was given a promise in a dream. He was a cocky, bragging boy, (trying to force the petals…). He had to go through years of prison for things he didn’t do to become the man God used to save His people.

Joseph's story is found in Gen. 37 & 39 – 50. In Gen. 50:20, Joseph says, “You meant it for harm, but God intended it for good. To accomplish what is now being done – the saving of many lives…” Sometimes, God can use the hard things in our lives (thorns) to protect us, as Joseph was protected from murderous brothers when they decided not kill him but to sell him into slavery.

Saul started out as a young man, out looking for his father’s donkeys, when he was called and chosen to be king. He also tried to force the growth by doing it his own way. He never did stop trying, and never turned back to God. He started to consult witches (totally forbidden by God) and ended up being a twisted bunch of thorns. The blooms of his promise died and he ended up insane.

David, Esther, Moses… so many of the people God used had lived hard or sinful lives, but were given a promise from God in their early years and after a time… in God’s perfect time… when they continued to submit to Him or turn back to Him when they made a mistake, He came through and they became the man or woman of God that touched the people in their world for His glory.

It probably took Mary awhile to come to understand that God OFTEN uses the simple things of this world to bring about the highest changes. Very seldom, if at all, do people understand the way that God is going to work (or is working) in their lives. God’s ways are NOT our ways… He asks us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean NOT on your own understanding, but in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight …”Proverbs 3: 5 & 6

This is getting pretty long for tonight, so I will finish it up tomorrow. Have a wonderful day with the roses in your life…


That corgi :) said...

I remember this from last year Linda! it was awesome then and awesome now :)


Angela said...

What a wonderful lesson for us all!

Happy New Year!