One of my favorite places is the rose garden at the company of Harry and David. They used to own Jackson and Perkins until they sold it several years ago. Jackson and Perkins specialized in roses. Harry and David’s rose garden was the ‘test’ garden. Every color, species, and size of rose you can imagine, hang out at Harry and David’s garden.
I’ve made several trips to the garden this year, while living in Oregon. I’ve taken guests there – my granddaughter, my neighbor and more. Most of them have had a similar reaction to mine… breathless. Speechless. In awe.
The colors are magnificent and stunning, surprising in some instances as the flower buds in a deep red, color open up to orange and fades to a yellow. Some have one large stem that dons eight or more blooms – a bouquet in itself.
When I go alone I take my time and enjoy every step. I could spend the day there. There are asters, lilies, peonies and butterfly bushes. Ornamental grasses, fruit trees, lavender and well – I could go on and on – it’s there. The saddest thing to me is that, usually, no one else is ever there. It’s always void of someone to walk it’s path, linger over the fragrances as my little granddaughter loved to do.
In each row, with each step, I find a reason to praise God. With each water drop that twinkles in the sun’s rays, I find a reason to smile. With each honeybee that buzzes from one petal to the next, I almost laugh. I find I can disconnect from the despair I sometimes feel. The tough moments. The trying times. The mundane. I can walk on the thick, lush grass and find one more bloom, one more color, one more surprise to be thankful for.
Eventually it’s time to go home. I have filled up the camera card with pictures of bees, blooms and bunnies. I download the photos onto my computer and relive those moments again. I see God in every picture. I see His beauty, His creativity, His peace, His provision. I see how He cares for me.
I hadn’t been to the rose garden for a while and as I walked the paths today, God refreshed my spirit. Sometimes we get caught up in the day to day despair of life. In the tough stuff that we must deal with. In the tedious, the mundane, monotonous day to day of life. We wonder if there’s anything greater than washing dishes, folding clothes, or taking the garbage out.
And then, we spontaneously take a trip back to a place where once we were met by God and find Him there once again. And once again, so faithful as in the times before, He strengthens and refreshes our spirit. Sometimes going back is a good thing. Sometimes it’s the only way to go forward.
I encourage you today, if you’re tired, weary, worn out and feel defeated, think of that place where you have met God and been renewed. If at all possible – go there and bask in the love and grace of His presence. If it’s not possible to go there, find a quiet place where you can close your eyes and remember the time (or times) you did, dwell on it and He will come to you, right where you are.
Let Him fill you up.
Count on it.