This is my climbing rose, I call him Valiant. Yes, the color of the rose is a light red (it really is, it doesn’t have the lighter shades that pink would have) but then I have a red headed character of a certain name. Light red does not mean girly, especially not among the rose varieties. No indeed.
Valiant was a Valentine’s Day gift from my Mom, a sweet little potted rose that she picked up at the grocery store. She didn’t know at the time that he was a climbing rose. She also didn’t think he’d last past the month even though I’d been watering him from the moment she brought him inside.
Grocery store rose plants are not known for heartiness.
But like the mixed breed puppy from the rescue center, Valiant began to surprise us all. After his original roses curled up and fell off he went through a huge growth spurt and his climbing nature became very apparent. Dad got a yard stick and with a new pot, some new soil, and florist wire to help him stand up straight. He quickly took advantage of all of these things. Valiant was very happy in the bay window of the kitchen with sunlight and water, and a pot to stretch his roots in as well as protection from bugs and strong wind. He continued to grow, and bloomed not once, but twice more.
Finally, I came to the decision it was time to permanently add Valiant to the garden. He’d proven himself a hearty survivor, and determined to take over the walls and windowsills of the kitchen. It was time he was outside.
So, Dad prepared a bed for him. I picked out the place, and Dad cleared it of cement blobs and rocks. He tilled the earth for me, and even got some black material designed to keep weeds from sprouting. He bought mulch, and helped me find rose food spikes to drive into the ground and bought a beautiful trellis for Valiant to climb. I helped him place the trellis and then Mom and I went out and prepared the bed with organic treated dirt that would help hold moisture and was dark with nutrients.
Then it was time to get Valiant who, had no idea any of this was underway. We scooped him up from his sunny place in the bay window and out he came into the humid, windy morning. A tap-tap and he was pulled from his pot, his roots clinging indignantly to the soil, and then he was heaved into his new home. We settled him against the trellis, covered his roots with earth, then the fabric, and finally mulch.
From Valiant’s point of view (and trust me, this little guy definitely is opinionated) his transplant day was the end of the world. No more coddling in the sun, no more generic plant food to help him grow, no more protection from rain, wind, and bugs. He had been removed from everything he knew, and thrust into a hostile environment not of his choosing.
Just because he wasn’t privy to the decision to move him, or the reason why, or the amount of care that went into preparing his new place, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Or that we don’t care about him or his potential. In fact, Mom, Dad, and I invested time and money in making his new place, because we are rather attached to him and want him to be as handsome and as healthy as possible.
So, for all of you who are going through a time of upheaval and transplant; the ones that are being removed from places where you were flourishing, the ones facing new opposition and challenges, the ones that are incredibly uncomfortable and are beginning to think that something has happened and you’ve fallen off the Lords agenda that He’s forgotten you, I say wait.
Remember, that you are not only liked, but loved. It isn’t affection that binds Christ to you, as we are bound to Valiant, but an everlasting promise and cord of love that started before the foundation of the world was laid.
You are being placed into an area that has been selected, has been prepared, and chosen for you. The difficulties that are in your life, they are opportunities for you to discover how strong in Jesus you really have grown.
This place is where you will grow into maturity and become a sweet smell to those who pass you by. It isn’t easy, but then, it’s not suppose to be easy growing to become more like Him.
And remember too, if I the flawed human gardener is watching Valiant with hawk eyes, watering him, making sure each day that he’s growing and doing well, how much more will our Vinedresser, who is NOT flawed like I am, hover, protect, and keep you as you grow into maturity in Him.
Be encouraged, all you in transition. And tell me in the comments what change you are facing in your life. The good, the bad, and the beautiful.