May 13, 2014

Thou Hast Left Thy First Love

Abigail and Dolley readers sometimes the Lord brings things we thought were lost back to life.  I am gardener and have been for about 15 years.  During the course of time, I have planted hundreds of specimens and seeds.  Some have thrived and others have never sprouted. In my early years, roses were the predominant fixture in the landscape but seasons change and I determined that I no longer wanted to deal with prickers and the never ending battle of black spot.

I moved several roses out of the main flower bed and relegated them to an abandoned spot in the back where they languished for years without being tended.  They were puny and sick.  I dug up and disposed of several and when the time came to put in my Back to Eden Garden, on a whim I moved the three surviving things back up to the perennial garden.  I thought they were all a Freedom Hedge Rose but alas, I was wrong.  There was one special rose that survived, one I purchased 15 years ago and moved from one house to the other.

Coral Floribunda Rose
It is so old that I have forgotten it, name and all.  This morning as I was having my devotion in the garden, I noticed it there.  At first glance, it was just another Freedom but upon closer inspection I was shocked.  She had a heady scent that brought me back to a time of hope, grand dreams, and excitement.  Before I knew about fungus and black spot and Japanese Beetles - to a time when all things were possible to those who believed and were willing to put in the work.  To a time before rose gardening had become toil without reward.

Jesus told the church at Ephesus that he saw their hard work, he saw their faithfulness and endurance - but they had forgotten their first love.  As seasoned believers we can get so caught up in the work of being a Christ Follower, that we forget the joy of our first love.  We lose the faith of a child.  So God used a rose today to remind me that He can do much more than I expect and he reminded me of that first love.