The other day when I was out trimming roses, I got to a bush that had not been pruned in the spring. (Not that it was the only one, but let’s not focus on how behind I am.) There were some dead canes, some insect eaten leaves…it wasn’t the healthiest plant. But deep down near the ground I discovered a few pretty roses blooming. What? Roses are supposed to bloom on the outside of the plant.
I wonder if sometimes I am like a hidden rose. I usually don’t like being noticed (I do, like most people, desire to be known by those who might take the time to lift a couple of leaves). Maybe I am happiest to bloom and fulfill my purpose just under the radar, hidden under the more prominent blooms; and that all seems well and good, right?
Yet when I saw those hidden roses, there was a definite sense that they were out of place. So, I wonder, is it better not to hide under leaves? If God made me for a purpose, should I not allow myself to be seen?
I understand that God makes all parts of a body and each has his own function, some more visible, some not so much. I’ve always thought of myself as some invisible part of the body of Christ; maybe a toenail or something. (Hey, those are important! Just try loosing one!)
I am happy to be what God made me to be …for instance, my most invisible role is being an intercessor. I like that it is hidden AND powerful! But I shouldn’t seek to hide, either. Playing hide and seek is fun, and I think sometimes God plays that with us (“Seek and you will find” – Jeremiah 29:13, Matthew 7:7), but hiding from others is not growing us or helping anyone, so I need to be careful to not do that. (“Let your light shine before others” Matthew 6:16)
And, speaking of hiding…it is a temptation to hide the Lord’s pruning in my life from others. I don’t like to reveal my imperfections. I prefer only letting people see the good in my life, the blooms.
However, I know that I am most encouraged when my friends share their trials and I get to see the Lord working in and through them. I am blessed when a friend is squeezed and out comes the sweet wine from the fruit of the Spirit. When a friend is squeezed and bitterness spills out, I am blessed when the Lord uses me to speak encouragement and to pray for her.
So I need to allow others into my garden to see the good and the ugly. Otherwise, I’m simply not being real. Otherwise, others won’t feel the liberty to share their imperfections, their needs, their failures. In the past I may have been too free in sharing the details of my life with some that didn’t truly care, so there is some wisdom in choosing those few close friends in your circle whom you know you can trust.
We might have been burned in the past, but let’s not keep from authenticity in the present. That would be a win for the enemy, keeping us isolated and in a weakened state, vulnerable to his attacks. I know, I’ve been there too. Maybe we’ve all had our season there. But sister, let me tell you, your world needs you strong and blooming for God.
As we aim for that goal, we need each other. I was overflowing with joy recently in hearing the happy state of a friend’s marriage, but it wouldn’t be half as joyous if I hadn’t been allowed to walk with her through the ugly years in the valley of despair.
Let’s not hide our pruning or our blooms. We are each in process, none are the finished product.
Mary Billings is an adopted daughter of The King, the wife of one man for 22 years, mom to two teenaged girls and one pre-teen son. She enjoys photography, day hikes, Ponderosa Pine trees, trimming her roses, learning about natural health and watching her son play basketball.