The Heart of a Rose

August 2004
The Heart of a Rose

I had a vase of roses.  They were beautiful and fragrant and filled the house with life and promise of things to come!  But over time, the petals began to wither and die.  They still looked beautiful as long as you didn't get too close.  If you touched them, they were crisp and dry.  It was time to throw them out since the life had gone out of them.  They were useless.  So I pulled the flowers off the stems one by one.  Each one that I pulled off, I noticed that even though they looked dead, they were still clinging tightly to the stem.  The stem was still immersed in water and feeding the flower inside.  I began to pull the petals apart gently.  As I peeled away the crisp, dead petals one by one, I noticed that the closer I got to the heart of the rose the petals were still moist, fragrant, and very much alive!  A brilliant red ~ even more beautiful than the flowers were on the first day I got them.  Each layer revealed more beautiful, soft, vibrant life as the dead was stripped away.

God wants to strip away the dead in our lives and reveal His heart to us.  It can be a painful process ~ both the experience of death and the removing of it from our lives.  Sometimes the outer appearance can hide what's inside.  But God gives us the heart of a rose.  And He will reveal it with His gentle hands.  Sin and circumstance surround us in death, even though from a distance we can still look ok for a while.  It is impossible to hide it's effects on us for long.  Someday we all realize that we have dried up and need God to strip away our outer layers and reveal our hearts to Him.  The soft, sweet smelling, vibrant heart ~ fed through the stem of the Spirit ~ with the Living Water of Jesus.

"For this is what the high and lofty One says, He who lives forever, whose name is holy:  
I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, 
to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."  Isaiah 57:15

"Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."
John 7:38

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