New Life from the Roses
Elizabeth Knight of Schaefferstown, PA, USA
I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long. Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free, the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. -Psalm 146:2, 5-8
January 18 was a tough day for me. My father passed away. After eight months of visiting many doctors, he had made the decision to stop all doctor and hospital visits and spend what time he had left at home. My mother, sister, and I, with some outside help, tried to make him as comfortable as we could. My dad loved God’s creation, and he talked about feeding the birds, because it was an especially cold and snowy winter. He was also concerned about his rose bushes surviving the harsh winter.
When spring finally arrived, the roses looked horrible. My mom and I contemplated whether or not we should remove them. We just couldn’t, because he had planted them, and they were a reminder of how much my father enjoyed nature. After pruning and feeding all of them and waiting patiently for God’s hand, they started to show healthy growth again. Just as my life was being pruned and fed as I learned to cope with my father’s illness and death, working on the roses was a healing gift God gave me. They might not be the prettiest, but I have hope they are going to make it. As I continue to work with them I am reminded how God works in our lives.
Life is hard sometimes and watching someone you love die can be unbearable. As I see new life spring from the roses, I am reminded of the promise of eternal life we have by knowing Christ as our Savior. My earthly father is experiencing that new eternal life with my Heavenly Father. I am overjoyed that God sent Christ so we all can experience new life. No matter what we go through in this earthly life we have the assurance of eternal life. Praise God!
“Be vulnerable to divine grace” (Doctrine and Covenants Section 163:10b).
This month, spend time each day noticing where divine grace is already pouring forth. Perhaps it is a simple awareness of creation’s systems and cycles that support our daily existence. The sun rises each day without being asked. There are underlying rhythms and relationships that hold the fabric of our lives together. Sometimes they fall into the background of our lives. We forget to see the natural generosity that spills over throughout our days-of the planet, the people we love, the Sacred Presence in all moments, the kindness of strangers we encounter, and the gifts we carry within. What is already being given in your life? What does it look like to be vulnerable to divine grace today?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.