Do you love roses? What’s your favorite color? I love yellow!
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 – NIV
There were lots of little things that drew us to buy this house in the summer of 1988, not the least of which was the yard. One of its particular treasures was the exquisite rose garden positioned behind the back porch. It was the pride and joy of the former owner, Mrs. Cooper. One look and you could tell that she spent hours working in that bed of ten rose bushes that hosted a rainbow of color from red to white, yellow to pink. They were magnificent!
We moved in, and I went to work caring for the roses, learning as I went. By this point, the rose bushes were twenty-five years old and were beginning to show the strain of age. I tried to keep up with the fertilizing, spraying and pruning despite my hectic full time job at the hospital. I did well for a few years until a cute little boy moved into the small bedroom decorated in bears and bunny rabbits. Between work and motherhood, my hours in the rose garden began to dwindle, and eventually, so did the plants.
One by one, the rose bushes died out. A few limped along, putting out leaves, but seldom blooming. Now, there is only one bush remaining, and for the past six years, it has done nothing but put out a few leaves in a frail declaration that it still had some life in it. I hadn’t cut it down yet, but it was coming.
Here in NC, we had a glorious spring this year. The weather remained pleasantly cool until almost June, a far cry from the blazing temperatures we have had in recent years. There was a perfect mix of rain and sun. The trees and flowers loved it.
It was in late June that I first took notice. That lone remaining rose bush stands at the edge of the flower bed shaded by a dogwood tree. While watering some Vinca planted nearby, I noticed a wealth of lush greenery on the long forgotten bush. Both surprised and pleased, I gave the bush some Miracle-Gro and hoped for the best, but didn’t really expect any results.
A few weeks later to my stunned amazement, a beautiful pink bloom emerged, the first rose in years! Several other blooms followed, and once the flowers faded, I pruned the stems.
With no real expectation of any more roses, I continued to fertilize the bush in two week intervals. As if to prove me wrong, the bush continued to put out new growth, and next thing I knew, there were new buds sprouting from two large stems.
On one of my morning garden strolls, I noted the emerging bloom just ready to open. The next morning, a beautiful pink rose greeted me with its delicate petals and sweet fragrance. But the surprise wasn’t finished, the joy not yet complete.
Poised over one of the precious petals was a second rosebud, just a hint of pale pink peeking out. I stared in wonder at this double bloom, this twin offering. The next morning, I couldn’t get to the garden fast enough, and I was not disappointed. Before me stood two pale pink roses, one positioned above the other, their petals touching, their beauty inextricably linked.
A double rose, a double blessing. Pale pink beauty, a taste of God’s splendor. After years of decay, new life emerged. A second chance, a resurrection, a rebirth.
Double the portion, just like His grace. Not only what we need in the moment, but more than enough to see us through. Not what we deserve, but what we don’t. More than sufficient. His power made perfect in our weakness. Grace for the moment. Our portion forever.
Why did that rose bush return to life? Why did it offer not just one bloom, but two? I have no answer, except perhaps that God chose to bless me. Perhaps in this small way, God was reminding me of His power and His perfection, of His amazing grace.
After all these years, it was as if Mrs. Cooper had returned to enjoy my garden. Pink was her favorite color. Isn’t that just like God to save that spindly bush and make it bloom once again in her favorite color?
And you know what’s even more amazing? On the other tall stem, there’s another double rose on the way. Yes, it’s just like our good and gracious God to bless us with more than enough.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:25-26 – NIV
O God of Grace and Glory, how great Thou art! How great is Your faithfulness, how perfect is Your creation. Oh, how You bless us in great things and small. Your wonders never cease. Your grace is more than sufficient. Your love is all we need. You are our portion forever.
In the Glorious Name of Jesus, we give thanks and praise,