Wild Rose

pexels-photo-537053.jpeg

Last Saturday while moving a section of fence on our property I noticed that there was this wild rose bush. We have tried to kill the thing numerous amount of times. Just because it was growing in an inconvenient spot, the spot is right at the corner post of our fencing. What kind of fencing you ask well it is electric fencing for horses. You see the issue? It would eventually grow so big that it would ground out the current and render the fence useless.

So, as we removed the corner post and I saw this one small thorny green branch and thought, How in the world could you take all that uprooting and hacking and not die? Figuring that I would come out the next day and find it dead as a doornail.  That is not what I found to my surprise I found the wild rose bush doing just fine. As I looked at it again, I said: “Well, if you made it through THAT! Then grow little rose bush! In my books that one little stem deserved to grow!

As I stared down at this little thorny stem, I heard Jesus say to my heart, ” Kinda like you!” I giggled back and said in my heart ” I guess so, Lord.”  I looked back down and realized this little green, prickly, stem was a whole lot like me. Since Saturday I have been thinking about what Jesus said to me. I haven’t been able to get it off my mind. So I decided to look up all I could find about a wild rose bush. I mean who could blame me if Jesus is comparing me to it, I want to know the good, bad and the ugly!

I learned that a wild rose bush only blooms one time a year, those blooms typically only have five petals. The flowers are simple but stunning. Just like those rose bushes, we flourish in season. I love that these roses only have five petals, the number five represents grace in Hebrew.  It is the grace of God we bloom at all.

I also learned that these rose bushes are where we get all roses from. They are a completely original, you and I are original; there will never be another human like us.

1 Corinthians 12:25-28 English Standard Version (ESV)

25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.

In Verse 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individual members, you are original. Even though wild rose bushes can vary from white to pink, there are a million different hues, and each one is unique. We are all different, we have had different situations to create pigment in us. Those situations and circumstance are used to develop our personalities, they are what gives us our shade of color.

A wild rose doesn’t control its color or where it is placed, all the rose does is grow and wait to bloom.

I found out through my research that wild roses thrive on neglect and are exceptionally hardy, they can grow in poor soil, wet soil, good soil. How many times do people, jobs, friends neglect us but we have come to the understanding that even in the worse case scenarios our God never forsakes us. This makes us emotionally hardy to handle relationships, circumstances, loss and gain, sickness and health. I look at this beginning of a wild rose bush and realize that it is in rocky soil has been cut and abused. It has taken all that, and the little stem keeps coming back waiting to bloom. It has a purpose, it has roots deep down in the rocky soil.  Just like this wild shrub we are all planted in different lands, pastures, in dry places, in soaking wet areas, in urban and rural locations. We might not even like the places we are, but we are still there no matter how many times someone has taken a swipe and widdled us down to a nub. We always come back knowing that one day we will bloom and complete our purpose. In His timing and for His glory.

Amos 9:15 

I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,” says the LORD your God.

You and I are planted purposefully and will not be uprooted out of the land that God has set us in. We don’t have to understand everything to remain. Once a wild rose bush is allowed to reach it’s full potential and blooms it not only is uniquely beautiful, but it leaves something vital behind, rose hips. These rose hips carry over into the winter months providing food for the birds.

Matthew 6:26 ESV

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Psalm 50:11 ESV
I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.

Every single bird, hill, and field is His. He knows exactly the time to allow us to bloom so that we can feed those around us. That our lives in full bloom leave necessary provisions for others to come and feed off of while in a winter season. A beautiful picture painted by God himself, that while we are growing. While God is sending the rain, sun, the wind.  Every single branch, stem, leaf, every bud we are strategically positioned to open and display His glorious grace. This grace was intended to give life to a searching heart, and a hungry soul that see’s the grace of God in the wild rose bush. In a God who purposed such a beautiful bloom to provide food for another soul.

Not for a second does the Father not see how many times we have been cut down, trampled, misused, abused, forgotten, weed-ridden, planted in poor soil, and neglected we have grown through it all, by the grace of God. We have grit and tenacity that only comes from the Holy Spirit.  I see now why Jesus said we were like wild rose bushes, growing in a pasture in a fence row, in poor conditions, in poor soil. We are hardy and exceptionally resilient.

No matter what comes, I am determined to bloom where I am planted so that my blooms will one day feed a hungry little bird searching for food. I want to be the vessel that God uses for that task. I am reminded more than ever when I am weak, I am strong. My current sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory in Christ Jesus that one day my face will behold.

Romans 8:18 ESV

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

2 Corinthians 12:9

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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

A Captive Girl

Today, I want you to know this particular verse has been coming up for the past three weeks. The first time was Priscilla Shrier’s Simulcast. Priscilla gave a great word about being a functioning leper.  The second time came today as I read it again. Today I want to focus on the captive girl.

 

 

A Servant Girl Tells Naaman's Wife About the Prophet II KIngs 5:2-3

In 2 Kings 5:2 we see a young Israelite girl that was probably taken as a prisoner during one of Naaman’s great victories. Naaman had given this girl to tend to his wife. As we see in verse 3, the young girl is concerned about Naaman’s well-being. Many scholars believe that by her speaking like that to Naaman’s wife they can assume that Naaman and his wife treated the young captive kindly. Still, in verse 3, the young girl introduces the prophet who is in Samaria. This prophet is Elisha he lived in a house in the capital city during this time. Scholars assume the girl knew about Elisha before she ever was taken captive. Even though no leper in Israel had ever been healed of leprosy during Elisha’s time. That is in Luke 4:27 only Naaman is mentioned as being cleansed.

What I really want to point out here and what is in my heart today is some of us think that we have been held in captivity as punishment. That is simply not true Romans 5 tells us that God loved us just as much when we were in pure darkness and sin as He loves us when we are redeemed by Jesus. Even in our captivity we were planted and placed so that we may one day understand that our captivity/bondages were strategically arranged by the enemy of our souls. Those broken hearted places and those moments of breaking are not what God intended for us, but they are a result of evil and sin. Aimed to harm you, they were designed to even possibly in some situations kill you. (Gen. 50:20) See, what the enemy devised and schemed to bring you low, to break you, to kill you. Is now the very thing that God will use to develop your character through trials and tribulation, change the way you think by the Word of God, and finally trusting Him through it all. Not once did He say this is gonna be a piece of cake or that we would never experience pain, but what He did promise is Jesus. Jesus would usher in the grace of God by His life, His death, and His resurrection. Jesus is grace. That is the good news! That is the freedom of the brethren. Jesus is what sustains, reveals, restores, saves, free’s. By Christ alone are we restored.

Your captivity is being flipped for good just like the young captive girl in 2 Kings 5. I am sure she missed her Mother and Father. She might have even had longings to be returned back to Israel. She might have wondered why she had been planted in a gentile home as a slave to a mighty warrior’s wife. She could have refused to accept that she was a captive. She could have just done her work and remain silent, bitter, isolated from all that she loved and longed for. She didn’t she chose even in the worst of circumstances to serve her master’s wife and later would be used to introduce healing for a gentile commander of a nation that captured her and enslaved her. I see Jesus in that young captive girl. I see the love of God through this story. I see a girl who had no clue, but because she knew about God decided to share Him with someone, and because she shared Him, Naaman was indeed healed by God.

We have to share Jesus right where we are planted even when our hearts are broken. Reminds me of my favorite verse and every time I hear it tears well up in my eyes.  When Jesus was at the well with the Samaritan woman. John 4:29  ” Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?

From one captive girl to another can I ask you this one question?

 

Will you come meet a Man, not just any Man? A Man who knows everything that we have done and still loves us with an everlasting love?

Come and see with me this Man named Jesus. He is the Messiah, fully flesh and fully God. He is the expressed human image of God. If you have not met Him, will you today? I will tell you how He has changed this young captive girls life. I am proof of His grace and mercy every day. I refuse circumstances stop me from telling everyone I can “Come, and see how Jesus has indeed freed me (a young captive girl). Jesus is the only way to freedom, girls, it’s all or nothing with Jesus. If we give Him all of us, we allow Jesus access to every part of us. He will captivate us.