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“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Roses In December

When God created roses, He did so with both beautiful blossoms and thorns. The past several days have been very thorny ones for me. In spite of the joy of the Christmas season, a heaviness weighs in my heart. Yes, I rejoice in praising God for the matchless gift of His Son. I love hearing the Christmas carols sung by the choir and over the PA system in the stores. Christmas movies on TV are fun to watch again and again. Wrapping gifts and praying for the recipient is a joy. Baking cookies fills the house with festive aromas.

But memories lurk in the midst of all the holiday cheer. Everyone has memories of Christmases past, but there is one I wish I could forget. The memories are so painful, I believe my heart bleeds every time the pictures manifest themselves in my mind. The ache is so real I can well imagine it showing up on an x-ray. Knowing the countdown to these horrible memories is drawing near makes enjoying the holidays a challenge.

Seeking solace from the pain, I took myself away for a day to a place of sanctuary—a place where I could hear God’s whisper. But God did more than whisper, He sang.

There is a quote I remember hearing one time. Some attribute it to Sir James Barrie, a British playwright, and others to Italo Sveno, an Italian novelist. Whoever said it first isn’t important. The words slipped through my mind like a song that echoes and repeats.

“God gave us memories so that we might have roses in December.”

At first I didn’t understand the correlation. Whatever blossoms dare to remain on the bushes in December are ugly. The roses in my backyard have all wilted from the freezing temperatures. There is nothing pretty about a rose whose petals are browned and crumpling. They are almost as ugly as the memories I’m trying to blot out. I told God I didn’t want the memories that so haunted me from that December four years earlier any more than I’d want to pluck a bouquet from my frozen rosebush.

Tenderly, as though He were singing a lullaby, He reminded me of the beauty. The roses of summer rival every other flower in the garden with their delicate radiance. The memory of those roses resembles the treasury of promises He’s kept and prayers He’s answered in His way--miraculous ways. Sometimes our greatest blessings, the most complete healing, can happen because of prayers that weren’t answered the way we wanted. Glory began seeping into my soul and I stood in awe of His goodness. How could I have forgotten? How could I have allowed the harshness of the climb to eradicate the exquisite sweetness of the view?

Then He showed me one more promise. A tiny, unopened rosebud…in December. He isn’t finished yet. There is more to come; more beauty to anticipate; more glory to grasp. Roses in December.

Thanks for letting me share my heart.

1 comment:

Kim Vogel Sawyer said...

Beautifully written, Connie. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of your tender heart. Love you muchly.