Blue tugged hard on the leash, insisting on following the sound of crunching leaves through the thicket alongside our mountain road. He pulled hard, me flailing behind him. Stopping abruptly, Blue’s nose twitched while his eyes searched for his prize — a rabbit! Thank goodness it was a fast rabbit and Blue is not a fan of briers. Whew!
But in the middle of that thicket, overgrown with chaos and winter brown, grew a lesson from God.
I had never considered rose hips before.
But today was different.
Moments before, whimpering escaped my lips as I expressed my insecurities to the Lord. In many ways I felt dormant in this winter season of my soul — merely surviving the cold, harsh winds and feeling anything but productive.
While Blue scoured the air with his nose, I glanced over at the gentle-red-hued jewels adorning the gnarly mass of briers knotted together with anything but peace.
But there they were.
Simple beauty declaring God’s glory.
Rose hips are the fruit of the rose — maturing once the bloom is gone.
I thought about the rose and its exquisite beauty. A favorite among flowers, the rose adds grace to the lowliest of cabins and the magnificence of palaces. We celebrate its beauty and get lost in it’s delicate aroma.
But the fruit of the rose comes after the rose petals have fallen.
The fruit matures in the cold weather, frost sweetening its flavor.
Is this what the Lord wanted me to see?
The outward vibrancy of the rose that everyone adores does not contain the fruit that bears healing properties. Healing is found in the rose hip — that which matures in the winter season while the rose lies dormant and bare — exposed to the harsh winter chill.
That’s when the rose can offer the most healing benefits of boosting immune systems, fighting inflammation resulting in arthritis, strengthening the heart — all from the rose hip that grows and matures after the petals fall and the air is cool with winter’s chill.
I wonder if the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my life matures best in the winter seasons too? When my life feels dormant as I rest from ceaseless activity, when my spirit feels barren and bare — exposed to the harsh realities of a fallen world, or when I see the petals of a life scattered at my feet and I think the beauty has gone … I wonder if that is when the fruit of my life matures so that I can bring healing benefits to those I encounter.
Paul exhorted the Corinthian church:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
As winter continues and snow gathers on the gentle-hued-jewels adorning the gnarly mass of briers knotted together with anything but peace, I will think on the goodness of God and His purposes.
Even the winter of our souls carries with it His purpose — His purpose of reconciling a broken world to His love.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I would love for you to share what’s on your heart in the comments below. Scroll a little farther down and you’ll see where you can leave your comments. Together, we can find the nearness of God in our darkest moments.
Sweet blessings to you,