Is there any greater joy for a woman than to receive a fragrant bouquet of roses to mark an anniversary, a birthday, or simply to express love and appreciation? Roses-deep in color and texture, exquisitely aromatic, perfect in form and beauty. When my sweetheart gifts me with roses, I treat them with such gentle care: I trim the stems to allow the life-sustaining water to bathe my succulent beauties; I trim the leaves from the lower stem to prevent water contamination; I add plant food to lengthen the life span of the roses; I change the water frequently and re-trim the bases of the stems daily. But all that said, the beauty of those roses are mine to enjoy for a few weeks, at best. They will die and be discarded. But some roses are cut in their prime, the petals removed and crushed to form the basis of wonderful perfumes. When we wear the perfumes born from those pulverized petals, the aroma awakens our senses. In essence, the rose hasn’t died, but lived on to bring pleasure and beauty, to testify of itself.
Thirty-nine years ago today, I was crushed, my spirit pulverized. No one yearns to be crushed, no one welcomes the pain associated with the pressure of such severe adversity. It is an agonizing process, and the scars left in its wake are real, and permanent. Yet at times, it is only through crushing that God can release the sweet fragrance of His mercy and comfort.
On January 6, 1981, I cradled my first-born in my arms as she breathed her last breath and was welcomed into eternity. I have yet to experience any event in my life as crushing and devastating; all other valleys I have walked, trials I have battled, pale in comparison. I was lost in my grief, broken in spirit, drowning in bitterness toward my God, and shaken to the core of my faith. But in the course of that crushing, I found myself standing on the words penned by another crushed rose, Job. “For I know that my redeemer liveth.” Those triumphant words of a suffering, confused, grieving man have become my words, my comfort, my joy, my sustaining grace for thirty-nine years.
Are you being crushed today, pulverized by the pain that you are experiencing? My heart hurts to its core for you. That pressing experience is agonizing, devastating, and lonely. Find peace in the fact that through this crushing, you can spread the sweet fragrance of the Father’s grace for years to come, God can use YOU to bless and to enhance the life of another crushed saint. And above all, while lost in your pain, consider that blessed “rose of Sharon,” a Rose that was humiliated, broken, and crushed for you, all to present “a sweetsmelling savour” to the Father in your stead. He loves you; He sees and feels the pain you are experiencing; He will carry you in His arms. And He will use that fragrance of His crushed child for His glory.
Fragrant when crushed…unfortunately for us, fortunately for others, our crushing and pressing become to others the fragrance of God. (C. Richmond)
Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1329-62b696166a940' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1329&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1329-62b696166a940' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1329-62b696166a940' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>