With my coffee in hand I went outside to do what I enjoy doing every morning. I love to sit on my patio, drink my coffee, and take in the beauty of the rose bushes and greenery I’ve recently inherited the care of. But this day the scene disappointed me. The previous morning the rose bushes were filled with beautiful light and dark pink blooms, but overnight the petals had shriveled and browned and were falling away. It’s what I hate the most about rose bushes—they dazzle for a moment then fade away.
With regret I picked up my garden shears and started pruning away the dead places. But as I cut away I was pleasantly surprised to find new buds already beginning to form. The dead places had distorted my view and had kept me from seeing the new growth from where I had been sitting. I was thrilled because I knew it wouldn’t be long before the bushes would be in full bloom and dazzling again.
I’ve noticed the same cycle in my own life. I grow; I dazzle with the beauty of His work in me; I die; then I grow, dazzle, and die again. The pruning times in my life never feel beautiful—they’re disappointing and even painful. I don’t like to die, and I don’t like cutting away the dead places. But, like it is for the rose bush, this process is necessary for me. To be the vibrant, healthy life-gifter He desires me to be—to dazzle—I have to be willing to die to be able to live.