The temperatures are dropping and in the morning we scrape frost from our windshields. The leaves on the trees are turning colour and falling to the ground, making glorious mounds for kids to jump in. Many of the flowers are finished for the season, drooping their heads and turning brown until the next season. Gardeners have pruned back many bushes and flowers, getting ready for the winter season.
At the church, the flowerbeds were cleaned and someone has trimmed back the bushes. Yet as I walked into the church, I noticed that the rose bush, also aggressively pruned, was sprouting new buds and flowers. I marveled as beautiful roses were blooming in late October when everything else was dying. I admired the perseverance of this rose bush, lending its beauty despite the harsh weather and conditions it was facing.
As I admired this rose, I remembered the words from James 1:2-4:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (NIV)
People face all kinds of trials every day, from health scares to job loss, from family discord to political uncertainty. People are tired of the COVID restrictions and some are anxious. Far too many have stories of friends or family who have suffered because of this pandemic. Some are ready to give up…
May we learn the lesson from the rose bush, and despite what we face, persevere! That bush knows that Spring will come, though there is more trouble ahead as the snow and ice come. That too will pass and Spring will bring hope of new growth, new life, new beauty! Until then, this simple bush perseveres. May our lives reflect beauty and hope in the trying seasons of life, as we persevere, holding fast to Jesus, waiting for the sunshine to return to our worlds once again.
– Pastor Gary