Walking at the farm this weekend, Ron noticed what my grandchildren and I had spied earlier. He asked, “How did that rose bush get a red rose right in the middle of all those pink ones?” I’m no botanist, so I couldn’t answer his question. I’m guessing it had to do with some stray branch that got grafted in by mistake. Here’s what we saw:
Just last week I confessed to our ladies’ Bible class there was a verse of scripture I was tempted to put my scissors to. It’s in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. You’d better put your scissors out of reach if you haven’t already clipped it out of your Bible. “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Be thankful in ALL circumstances? Surely, I’m allowed to be grumpy when the telemarketer wakes me at 11:30 and I can’t go back to sleep. Or I unknowingly make dog poop tire tracks in the garage, and have them aromatically greet me on my return. Surely, I’m not supposed to be thankful about feeling lousy. Or slandered. Or hurt. Or betrayed. Or taken for granted. Or any other thing you might could add.
Or am I?
What makes Christians in full bloom stand out in an all-pink world? Jesus. Hebrews 12 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Staying focused on Jesus puts things in perspective. Knowing how much God loves us helps us know He’s got our backs. Sure, we may have to endure the consequences of someone else learning a difficult lesson, but God always makes it up to us in bountiful blessings. Besides, when we love like Jesus, we’re glad to endure some grief for the benefit of someone else. Let’s roll our inward-looking eyes forward, fix them on Jesus, and smile at all the many ways He teaches us to love. When we do that we might even find a few little buds sprouting behind us!
Hope the weather is great where you are! Please say a prayer for my mom. We are traveling to Birmingham today for her shoulder surgery tomorrow. If you’d like to leave her a comment here, I’ll be sure to pass it along. Smile like you mean it!