by Jennifer AlLee
About a year and a half ago, my family bought a house. It's not the first house we've owned, but the hope is that it will be our last. That makes me particularly invested in upkeep and beautification. So it was with uncharacteristic vigor that I decided to overhaul the front yard.
It's not a big yard, but it turned out to be a big job. Thank heaven for good friends who came over and helped me remove old plants and put in new ones. Among the removed items were two rosebushes in the front planter. Due to the fact that I'm scared spitless of bees, I'm not a big rose fan. So it wasn't difficult to decide that those bushes had to go.
They were dug up and tossed out. New plants went in where they had been. Wood chips covered everything. End of story, right? No more roses.
Last summer, I noticed that green shoots were coming up through the wood chips... shoots that looked suspiciously like rose stems. I almost pulled them, but then I thought better of it. I was curious to see just what was growing. Were they weeds? Some other rogue plant? Or had the roses somehow found a way to rise from the dead?
When I pointed them out to my green-thumb friends, they said it was entirely possible these new plants grew from the remnants of the old roses, but they probably wouldn't produce blooms. Even more curious, I left them alone and let them grow.
Winter came, and I essentially ignored that front flower bed. The only water it got was when the sprinkler went off once a week, or when God saw fit to send rain. Finally, Spring sprung. The weather warmed. And I decided it was time to start augmenting my plants' water supply.
Imagine my surprise when I got to the planter and saw that, not only were the remnant-rose stems taller, they were full of buds. Deep red roses cover those dark green branches. Even though they were dug up, removed from their secure home, and tossed in the trash, those rose bushes survived. Part of them lived and bloomed.
Seeing those roses made me think about the resilience of the human spirit. Some of us have been uprooted from our secure, comfortable lives. We've been tossed aside by the very people we thought would take care of us. But God hasn't forgotten us. He's nurtured us. Sent us the warmth of the sun, the nourishment of the rain. And under his watchful eye, we find a way to survive. Eventually, we find a way to flourish.
And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? (Matthew 6:28-30, NLT)How about you? Have you experienced a time when you felt pulled up by the roots? How did God meet your needs?
JENNIFER ALLEE believes the most important thing a woman can do is find her identity in God – a theme that carries throughout her novels. A professional writer for over twenty years, she's done extensive freelance work for Concordia Publishing House, including skits, Bible activity pages, and over 100 contributions to their popular My Devotions series. Her novels include The Love of His Brother (Five Star, 11/07), The Pastor’s Wife (Abingdon Press, 2/10), The Mother Road (Abingdon Press, 4/12) and the upcoming A Wild Goose Chase Christmas (Abingdon Press, 11/12). She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Christian Authors Network, and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.