Ministry Resources

A Sweet Fragrance

Author: Crystal Ortmann

Life is tough sometimes.

Times come when there is hurt upon hurt and there seems to be one crisis after another. That is often my reality, but one day a rose bush gave me a new perspective.

I decided to transplant the small bush. It was very spindly, so I didn’t think it would be a problem to move it. The rose bush had other ideas. It didn’t thrive. The poor thing drooped, and most of its leaves turned yellow and fell off. Well, roses are hardy. It’ll be all right. I’ll just give it time to adjust.

Days passed and the plant continued to wither. Then, a further tragedy. Being so tiny and easy to overlook, it was run over by the lawn mower. Oops! Now it’s done for! The helpless bush was dying before my eyes. To add to its woes, I forgot to water it. Aphids tried to suck out whatever life was still in it.

The pitiful bush had gone through multiple traumas in a very short time. I decided to leave it alone and let it die in peace.

The Rose Bush

Weeks passed and I forgot about the rose bush. One day as I worked in my garden, I glanced toward the area where I had planted the rose. What is that? Something large and deep red was on the bush. Its inadequate stem bent to the ground with the weight of a glorious, crimson blossom.

I stared in amazement. It was perfection! The flower was exquisitely formed. Each petal hugged the next in tight embrace. Getting down on my knees, I sniffed it. A fragrance of the finest perfume drifted to my nose.

In spite of its humiliation, discomfort, and neglect, not to mention being uprooted and damaged, this little rose bush struggled to live. It produced the best it could–a flower of unbelievable loveliness and sweetness, in the midst of suffering. It became an encouragement and blessing to me.

God is the expert at making beauty out of devastation. If I allow Him into my problems, He can use them to bless others as well as myself.

I can think of the sweet and lovely blossom, quietly produced in the midst of hardship. The rose’s beauty and fragrance came from terrible problems, but the same is available to me. I only need to ask.

Life can be really tough. God sees each life and every struggle. He offers the same promises to everyone and wants each life to radiate beauty and fragrance just like this damaged rose bush.

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