One more! :)
Ya know, since these were posted by Patter weeks ago, I couldn't help but MEDITATE on them. It's been really good. :)
ABIDE . . . I knew right away that my layout would have to do with roses!
In 1999 our family had the blessed privilege of living in a "farm house" in Virginia. It was BEAUTIFUL!!!! The house built in 1950 was full of hard wood floors, built-in bookcases, a fireplace, a wood stove, and a large back porch! . . . ahhh! Just perfect for my little "country-lovin" self! :)
But more than this, it was a FARM! Settled on the edge of 100 acres, our house was surrounded by alfalfa, wheat and corn fields, who took their place in season. Our drive was lined with huge boxwood hedges, and the house was surrounded by gorgeous old oak trees, maples and dogwoods. It was like a retreat! We housed chickens in the coop out back and planted flowers in every bed we could find. What a blessed 4 years we spent in this home!
Among the many trees and flowering plants, I found a beautiful rambling rose bush. It was truly lovely! One fine summer day, I cut a gorgeous rose from the bush and placed it lovingly in a vase of water next to my bed. That evening, only hours later, I noticed that the petals were falling off and the rose was as limp as a wet sock. "Awwww..." Why did it look so pitiful after such a very short while? Almost immediately the Lord spoke something to my heart that He had been showing me for some time ... "Without me you can do nothing."
After only a very short time of this rose being cut off from its source of life, it was loosing its vitality of life and beauty! "The branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine." It doesn't take long at all to "feel" my lack without the Lord. Very quickly I feel weak, worried, fearful, tempted, hopeless . . . BUT GOD! HE is my strength, my fruitfulness . . . it's all Him! . . . and isn't that a great truth? He is so dependable, so reliable. If this life was up to me, I'd be in trouble! But HE never changes!
.... Abide in the Vine!