by: Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer Columnist Barb Lissow
May 28, 2021
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:3,4
Roses are some of my favorite flowers! My husband and my family know this, and our home is decorated with hanging bunches of dried roses made from previous “special moment” bouquets. I think much of this love of the rose comes from sweet memories of my grandmother Nellie O’Donnell Olin. Grandma Nellie was the Normal Rockwell model of a farm-life woman to me, a city kid. Oh, I’m certain that Grandma was only one of the multitudes of talented and Godly farm wives of her era, but to me, she was THE best of her kind! Along with delicious cooking, skilled canning and freezing of fresh foods, playing a mean piano, and gardening and household chores, Grandma Nellie raised the most beautiful yellow roses in the front yard of her two-story picturesque farm home in rural Kimberly, Idaho. Sadly, while I inherited her love of roses, I did not inherit her master gardening skills, but am truly trying to learn!
Fortunate for me, most of our parsonages have been blessed with established rose bushes, and with God’s help, I plan to keep them alive and blooming! Roses are fascinating flowers in God’s flower world! Did you know that the rose is the favorite flower of 85% of Americans? That in 1986, then President Ronald Reagan signed legislation making the rose the official National Flower of the United States? That our first president George Washington bred roses at his home? Or that Columbus’ crew picked a rose branch out of the ocean on October 11, 1492 and that this signaled the presence of land!
A few years ago, I read a story about a new minister (who was feeling a bit insecure about what God had called him to do) seeking advice from an older pastor. The story goes like this:
As they walked in the garden, the older preacher walked up to a rosebush, picked a delicate rosebud, and handed it to the young minister, then told him to open it without tearing off any petals. The younger man looked in disbelief at the older pastor, trying to
figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the will of God for his life and ministry! But because of his great respect for the older brother-in-Christ, the young pastor proceeded to try to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact. It wasn’t long before he realized how impossible this was to do. Noticing the younger minister’s inability to unfold the rosebud without tearing it, the older man began to recite the following poem:
“It is only a tiny rosebud, a flower of God’s design;
But I cannot unfold the petals with these clumsy hands of mine.
The secret of unfolding flowers is not known to such as I.
GOD opens this flower so sweetly, in my hand it will fade and die.
If I cannot unfold a rosebud, this flower of God’s design,
Then how can I think I have wisdom to unfold this life of mine?
So I’ll trust in Him for His leading each moment of every day.
I will look to Him for His guidance each step of the pilgrim way.
The pathway that lies before me, only my Heavenly Father knows.
I’ll trust Him to unfold the moments, just as He unfolds the rose.”
(Poem written by Pastor Darryl L. Brown, Copyright TXu000218170, Date 1985, used with permission)
Lord, I pray we will always look to You and You alone, the Creator of all things, for strength, for Your guidance, for the courage to face the trials of this world, and especially for the security in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. And thank You, Lord, for your beautiful creation of the rose! Amen!
Zion Lutheran Church, Burley, ID