Hope in the Shape of a Rose

We have a small rose bush in our front garden. It was given to us as a house-warming present over six years ago.  Each year, until this one, and to my amazement, it has come alive again after the long cold winter and bloomed all summer long.

This year it didn’t. I’m not certain why – I’m no rose expert – though I suspect that as well as the extreme cold, it may have got run over by one of our cars when it was under the ice and snow. Oops.

All summer as I’ve parked up (the rose bush is right there as I step out of the car), I look at the dead wood and think how sad I’ll be to pull it up. As summer has worn on with not even a shoot appearing, I’d lost hope that it might show some sign of life again.

Today I returned from an errand, stepped out of the car, and the tiniest rose in bloom caught my eye. How had I not noticed that there were a couple of new shoots with some tiny leaves right at the base of the stem, or the bud starting to form? I look at it every day, and all I’ve seen is a dead plant.

Sometimes I give things up for dead that aren’t dead yet. I give up. I haven’t tended to that plant at all this year because it looked as dead as it could be…and yet there was life in there. Maybe, if I’d researched how to look after it properly, it may have come back quicker. If I’d taken some time to do something, rather than just feel sad about it…

Yet, it has come to life.

Sometimes things look dead, but I bring them to life.

That God-whisper in my ear, shooting straight to my heart.

How often do I give up on things? How often do I say to myself, ‘Well, that’s never going to happen’? That dream, that miracle, that heart turn, that relationship get better, that situation change…

Yet, what is dead comes to life. I know that, really know that, in the depths of my soul, because I too have been made alive in Christ.

Sometimes it’s not immediately visible that there’s life in these things in my life that I’m hoping will change. Often it looks the opposite. Sometimes I feel like pulling them up and throwing them away because nothing is changing. I could just move on…or, I could refuse to give up.

Either way, God is still at work.

He gave me hope in the form of that tiny red rose today, and encouragement to not give up. I hope this encourages you too.

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