Are you walking in sunshine or being pelted by rain? Either way, our Lord is still by your side. He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 – NIV
Do you ever find yourself whining? Yep, me too. While I may not necessarily whine out loud, I confess that sometimes I whine in my mind.
I caught myself doing it this morning on my daily walk. Instead of enjoying the glow of the rising sun peeking through the treetops, I was whining to myself. Here’s the instant replay of the thoughts running through my head.”I am so tired of Covid-19. I’m tired of wearing masks and social distancing. I miss lunches with my girlfriends. I miss Sunday mornings at church. I’m tired of all the inconveniences. I just want this nasty virus to go away. I’m sick of this.”
I sighed heavily as I trudged along down the road. Here came a different thought. Into my cluttered mind popped a song, an old one at that. Some of you may remember it. Its heyday was in the era of my childhood and it goes like this, “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden. Along with the sunshine, there’s gotta be a little rain sometime.”
Ouch! Right? Talk about stepping on your toes. There I am whining away, and then I get, “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden.” I’m not sure if that was a divine message, but it certainly got my attention.
I had to ask myself, “Is that what you expect out of life? A rose garden?”
A rose garden, a perfectly mulched bed of the soft delicate blooms, a kaleidoscope of color, sweet fragrance wafting through the air…is that what I expect out of life? Sunshine and roses?
In my whiny state, I’d overlooked some important truths. Those beautiful roses are covered in prickly thorns. You don’t get the bright and beautiful without some prickly problems.
For roses to bloom, they not only need golden sunshine, but ample rain too. Summer rain rarely comes in gentle showers. No, rainfall in summer comes in storms heralded by thunder and lightning.
If you want the roses, you better be prepared for the storms and the thorns. We must take the good with the bad, and stop our whining. We must remember that God can work all things together for our good. He can take the hardships, the sickness, the losses of this life, and bring good out of those hard things. He can use the thorns to teach us, to mold and shape us into the people He created us to be. He can use the storms to fulfill His good purposes.
I may not like the thorns. I may be afraid of the storms. I don’t get to choose my circumstances, but I do get to choose my response. I can respond by whining and complaining, or I can lift my eyes to heaven in thanks and trust.
Friends, no one ever promised us a rose garden. We don’t get to bask in golden sunlight all the time. There will be rain, and thunder, and lightning, and sometimes even hail. If we’re expecting a life of only sunshine and roses, we would be wise to reset our expectations.
So today, I am reframing my response to these present circumstances. I am choosing to trust that God can work all things together for my good. Will you join me in giving thanks for the roses as well as the thorns?
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.
Romans 8:18-19 – NIV
O Lord God, we give thanks for the good things and the hard things too. For we know that you can take the hard things of this life and work them for our ultimate good. You are with us in the sunshine and the storms. Your grace is sufficient to see us through. O Lord, help us place our trust in You, and You alone.