How many roses has God given you?

His love gifts are everywhere. Predawn coolness filled the room. I closed my eyes, relishing the feel of it on the bare skin of my arms. I pressed my palms around the mug of tea just the right temperature for sipping. Inhaling the cool air deep into my lungs, I put the tea on the window ledge and picked up the pencil, ready to continue my journaling with the Lord. My eyes paused, finally, on the profusion of pink roses swaying just outside my window. That’s when conviction came, that piercing within as you realize you have hurt someone you love most dearly,

“Oh, Father! I am so, so sorry! Forgive me! I remember the thrill of first seeing that this wild rose bush had climbed all the way to my second-floor window, letting me see two roses while sitting in this very chair. That delight lasted for days. Looking at them with gratitude was a thing between us, just You and me, throughout the day. And look at how many more roses You have caused to grow and blossom! Just look at them! Oh, when was the last time I thanked You for these beautiful flowers!”

How often do I take His specially chosen love gifts for granted?  That morning, I counted 22 roses in bloom or in bud. When had I begun taking this precious gift from God for granted? How would a human husband feel if his wife plunked the carefully chosen bouquet of her favorite flowers in a corner and never looked at them again? How many times the past few weeks since the roses began blooming had God nudged me to stop and sit down with Him and just thank Him, to just spend a few minutes specifically thanking Him for those roses?

It is fitting and appropriate to give thanks, to praise and to worship the Lord. The Bible is filled with verses telling us to give our thanks and our praise and our worship to God.  I Thessalonians 5:18 says: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thessalonians 5:18, NIV)

Why? It is appropriate.

 Rejoice in the Lord, O you [uncompromisingly] righteous [you upright in right standing with God]; for praise is becoming and appropriate for those who are upright [in heart]. (Psalm 33:1, AMPC, emphasis added)

Why is it appropriate? One of many reasons is because “God is good and His love endures forever”!   This fact is so vital for us to keep in mind that God repeats it multiple times in the Word, especially in Psalms. He even included an entire psalm that repeats this teaching. The phrase “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever” appears in each of the 26 verses of Psalm 136. Selah!

God delights in our praise and thanksgiving and worship. It pleases me greatly that praising God, thanking Him, and obeying Him whole-heartedly are gifts I can give to Him, little of course and by no means anywhere near what He deserves. However, when I keep Him first in my heart and love Him with all my heart, I know that gives Him delight

The Lord takes pleasure in those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy and loving-kindness.  (Psalm 147:11, AMPC)

Being ungrateful is spiritually dangerous. When I complain—about anything—I open a door to the enemy. I am making a way for him to steal, kill and destroy the good things God has prepared for me, including an intimate relationship with Him.

God hates complaining. Read Psalm 78 slowly and prayerfully. Do you see how many times God was merciful and forgave Israel and did not destroy them? But do you see that eventually they got what their actions deserved?

Why do we become ungrateful? We get distracted by many things, our own desires, someone else’s agenda, and the ways of this dark world. This world is filled with “troubles, trials, distress and frustrations.” Just before Calvary, Jesus lovingly told His disciples that they would have “troubles, trials, distress and frustration” in this world. But He also told them “but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] (John 16:33b, AMPC, emphasis added)

God understands and “imprints on His heart” that we are just frail human beings (Psalm 103) so He always, always, always provides a way to escape from temptations. That includes those that come from within our desperately wicked hearts (Jeremiah 17:9)  as well as those that come from living in this world. Paul told us:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (I Corinthians 10:13, NIV).

Praising and giving thanks protects me. When I consciously, purposefully, tell God “Thank You” for the little things that are right in front of me – a Bible to study, food to eat, a home to live in – I begin feeling gratitude, peace and hope. Expressing thanks to my heavenly Father helps me think about His great love toward me and about Who He is. How can I fear or complain when I am pondering the fact that the One Who holds the world in His loving hands dearly, dearly loves me? Like all His commands, the command to give God thanks is good for us.

Like gifts from a child. One of the first gifts a child gives is the head of a flower plucked from the back yard and lovingly presented in a chubby fist. Like the little drummer boy “I have no gift that’s fit to lay before a King” but I can give Him the very best of my heart. I can give Him my gratitude and my conscious awareness of Him. I can just sit down with Him and say,

“I love You Father! Thank You for those roses! Thank You for teaching me from Your Word. Thank You for leading me to have a closer relationship with You. It is so good to just sit in Your presence, Father. I love the peace I feel when my mind is on You.

Help me remember, please, to stop the busyness of my hands and sit down with You. Thank You that I feel Your love when I do that. Show me how to please You more, Lord.  Show me how You want me to live every hour of every day You give me on this earth. I love You Lord, I just love You. . . “

2 thoughts on “How many roses has God given you?

  1. I think one of my new favorite sayings will be, “remember the roses” as an expression reminding me to give praise and thanks to the Lord for specific things in my life. He always provides things of beauty in the midst of seeming chaos! Thanks for sharing the beauty of your roses with us!

    1. Thank you. It blesses me to hear that! May we all lean on Him and find strength to keep our minds fixed on Him and His love and countless blessings.

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