“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”
Every year around this time, there are these pink roses that bloom by my front door. It is the first thing I tend to look at when I leave the house or the last when I come home. In the winter they are bare with no petals - cut off because of the cold. Then spring comes and slowly you see the buds growing and soon after, when summer comes, they are fully bloomed. Then the process happens all over again in the fall.
Even though it’s the same flower and stem, the buds and the petals are not entirely the same. They are different, but they also grow from the same stem and roots that have created a foundation for a new rose. It resembles the same flower from previous seasons, but it is new. It has thrived through the many different elements being connected to the life-source to produce a new rose.
I love how God uses His creation to remind us of His grace and mercy in the process as His creation. (2 Cor. 5:17)
Each season is very different. We are still the same people, but - because of Jesus - we are no longer the same, are we? We no longer bear the image of the sinner separated by God, but we are now marked with His righteousness as His own.
We may not always “look” different, but we are different. Our source of life is no longer based on our own strength and knowledge.
We don’t have to carry the weight of our sin, our past mistakes, our shame, and the lies we have believed for so long.
However, we have to come to Jesus with everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. Every day, every trial, every victory, we must continue to cling to our life-source. Without Jesus, we can’t walk as the new creation. Without Jesus, our life-source is based on our own wisdom and might. Without Jesus, we’re a withering rose bush in the cold.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NLT
BUT, with Jesus, oh with Jesus - even on the hardest days of our lives - we’re going to produce life in Him. We will produce new life. We will find joy in all things. It is because Jesus' mission was about the Father's heart for His creation. For us to desire true repentance and reconciliation with our Creator so we can have a relationship with Him and be His again.
How good is our Father to use something like a rose bush to remind us how far we have come, but also to remind us how much we need Him.
It’s because of Jesus, we can continue to walk in our true identity as God’s beloved, chosen, righteous, sons & daughters.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”
Jude 1:24-25 ESV