GOD’S FLOWER GARDEN I: THE YELLOW ROSE
SUNSHINE IN MY SOUL
Song of Solomon
Showers of spiritual blessings we have received in abundance during our lifetime! Our trust in God as Father and in His Son Jesus has enriched our lives with blessings beyond measure.
In our ripe old age, we have come to realize that, just as April rain showers bring the flowers that bloom in May, those who trust in the higher spiritual power – the Lord God Creator of heaven and earth - have been so richly blessed that they can now enjoy God’s spiritual gifts that, to me, can be described in terms of God’s Spiritual Flower Garden.
Two types of flowers make up the central theme of God’s Flower Garden – the rose and the lily. Both flowers are mentioned in the same verse in Song of Solomon 2:1 – “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.” Whereas this analogy speaks of Solomon’s lover, it is considered by most Bible teachers to be a foreshadowing of the “lover of our souls”.
We begin our devotional thoughts about God’s floral display with the ROSE – by far the favorite of all flowers.
Millions and millions of roses are given each year in honor of loved ones on special occasions. The rose is the flower of choice on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, anniversaries and birthdays.
Roses are beautiful and fragrant. Rose gardens are plentiful in areas where the sun shines brightly. Many floral contests are won by growers of the thorny plants that produce beautiful rose buds and blossoms.
Everyone’s favorite parade of the year is, without question, The Rose Parade in Pasadena, California on New Year’s Day. It is amazing at what all can be done with arrangements of roses – of all colors.
The favorite color of roses for most folks is the red rose; my mother’s favorite color, though, was yellow; so, our family floral arrangement for her memorial service consisted of a blanket of yellow roses.
Perhaps you know that flowers of all kinds have been given special meanings by horticulturists. In the rose family, each color of roses has a special meaning attached to it.
Throughout history yellow has been closely associated with the sun – which, of course, is our source of light and warmth. So, it is not surprising that: The yellow rose is associated with the sunny, cheerful, warm feelings of joy, FRIENDSHIP and happiness.
My mother was one of those folks who radiated the joys of life and the warmth of friendship with everyone she met. If mama ever disliked anyone, she never said so. In her presence, we felt the warmth of her love and we experienced the joy of being one of her eleven children.
In the Bible, Jesus is spoken of as “The Rose of Sharon” – which, in those days, was the highest quality rose because it grew in Palestine known as Sharon - the fertile territory where the best and most beautiful roses grew in open fields rather than gardens.
Now, why would Jesus Christ, Son of God, be thought of as a rose of Sharon? Why would Jesus be associated with a rose that grew in places that were not cultivated by a rose gardener?
First, we would have to say that Jesus came to this earth not by the will of man but by the will of God. His presence in our world was not dependent upon a human being. Since Jesus was like a rose that grew out in the open spaces, the gardener would have to be thought of as God the Creator. Roses grew in those places not because they were planted there by man but they grew there as a part of God’s beautiful world of creation.
Only God as the gardener could have grown the best, most beautiful and fragrant of all roses. The analogy that compares Jesus to the rose of Sharon means to me that there were other prophets sent from God - many teachers of the Law of God - but there was only ONE Son of God; and it says to me that Jesus outshone them all and was, in fact, the one and only Teacher come from God. Jesus was a special kind of gift from God!
Christ was the rose of Sharon also because the salvation He offered to the world was open to all – like the rose that grew out in the open and could be picked by anyone at any time. He was not a rose that grew in a garden enclosed by a brick wall designed to keep people out!
Christ was a rose that grew out in the open spaces where anyone who chose to do so could reap the harvest of blessings associated with receiving Him as personal Lord and Savior – God’s special gift of eternal life!
To receive Christ into our lives requires no one’s permission. There is no brick wall of resistance. We do not have to butt heads with anyone. The choice is ours and ours alone. You can receive this gift of God’s love – freely – and not be condemned as would be the case if you had to sneak into someone’s rose garden to steal the most beautiful rose. Jesus your Savior is yours for the taking! “Ask, and you shall receive.”
Once you take hold of the rose of Sharon – God’s gift of salvation – you will be in possession of the best gift God has to offer!
God’s gift to you is like a yellow rose because it radiates the warmth of God’s love and the friendship of His Son Jesus Christ. Likewise, God wants your life to radiate the glow of His love in your relationship with others. He wants your friendship radiates the warmth of joy and happiness that comes to those who talk and walk with Him. He wants your disposition to change from gloomy to sunny. Be a rose in God’s garden of life!
Eliza Edmunds Hewitt, born in Philadelphia in 1851, serves as a reminder to those whose lives may have taken a turn for the worse. Her life radiates the testimony that, even though our circumstances may get thorny, there is no need to become a thorn in the side of others; rather, we would better serve others by being like a fragrant rose. May your life radiate a sweet, sweet spirit!
After graduation from high school, Eliza began teaching; however, her career was cut short by a serious spinal problem. She partially recovered, but was an invalid most of her life. While incapacitated, she turned to hymn writing to express her Christian faith in God.
One of Eliza’s hymns that epitomize her sunny disposition was put into words right after she had suffered in a body cast for six months. Upon removal of the cast, she was finally able to take a brief walk in the park near where she lived. The joy she felt at her recovery prompted these words of testimony:
There is sunshine in my soul today,
More glorious and bright
Than glows in any earthly sky,
For Jesus is my Light.
There is springtime in my soul today,
For, when the Lord is near,
The dove of peace sings in my heart,
The flowers of grace appear.
O there’s sunshine, blessed sunshine,
When the peaceful, happy moments roll;
When Jesus shows His smiling face,
There is sunshine in the soul.
The yellow rose is a reminder of sunshine in our souls even though there are gloomy situations that occur from time to time; during those trying times, life may not seem fair.
Yet, the Bible tells us that Jesus is our Rose of Sharon; and the yellow rose symbolizes God’s radiance - as expressed by His friendship with folks like you and me. He is my friend - a relationship that brings sunshine to my soul – today and every day! Can you say, “He is my friend?” Amen.