This week a friend came to visit me and brought a small bouquet of roses that she had cut from her garden. There were yellow ones and pink ones, too. I love roses! Their fragrance is one of the most pleasing of all aromas to me.
I put the roses into a vase. Throughout the evening I would bend toward the delicate flowers to breathe in its delicious scent. How pleasing they were to me.
In the morning, while I dressed, I could hardly wait to go into the living room to draw in another breath of the rose’s perfume. However, as I entered the room, I stopped in some dismay. My beautiful and sweet roses had dropped nearly all its petals to the floor. Slowly I walked forward, feeling a tinge of disappointment that my roses had not lasted longer; but then, a smile came quickly to my lips. There was the sweetest fragrance of the rose’s perfume wafting in the air! I bent down to make certain, drawing in deep breaths. Yes! The petals had fallen but the aroma was as pleasant as it had ever been.
That’s when I thought of the frailties of our human bodies. In our youth, like the fresh cut rose, we stand tall, full of life and vitality. Then, with the passing of years, or perhaps illness strikes, or sheer exhaustion takes hold due to heavy loads that we bear. Perhaps we begin to feel, like the aged rose, that our petals of strength and liveliness have all but fallen completely to the ground.
Please take heart if that is you today. Though the years and toils of life may cause our bodies to wilt and tire, read what God’s Word assures us of in II Corinthians 4:16, “We need never give up. Though our bodies grow weary, our spirits are being renewed every day.” Pay attention to those last two words — every day! No matter the passing of time or illness, or the stresses of this life that may bend our backs. No matter that our petals of youth will fall. As long as God Himself breathes into us His own blessings, then we remain a sweet fragrance, forever, as we are reminded in II Corinthians 2:15-16 “Our lives are a fragrance presented to Christ by God…to those who are being saved we are a life-giving perfume.”