“As Providence would have it” is a phrase that’s common where I work. You see, I work for a group of Catholic nuns (they prefer the term women religious). I’ve always believed in the Providence of God although I didn’t use that terminology when I was younger. One of my favorite verses is “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) I believe this with all my heart but some days it’s hard to hold on to, physically. I’m surrounded, daily, by strong, incredible women of faith but I still struggle to understand the meaning of suffering in our world. I need to become comfortable with the unknowing – I guess that’s what faith is.
Just when I think I can’t deal with one more sadness or piece of bad news (a person is diagnosed with cancer, a newborn struggles for his life, a friend almost dies from treatment complications), God provides a ray of hope, if I’m only willing to open my eyes. Signs of life that show how delicate and yet how incredible faith can be, when “in full bloom.”
As you may have seen from an earlier post, we haven’t had the best luck with roses. I have referred to them as “annuals.”
This year it’s different. “As Providence would have it,” our roses are amazing. The white rose bush that my mom gave us before she passed away is now two feet tall and has more than 25 blooms on it at any one time. When I dead-head stems, I find other baby pink and white buds waiting to see the light of day. They are healthy and fragrant and plentiful.
My father-in-law gave us a rose bush in memory of my mom in 2010. It is a Jackson & Perkins long-stemmed bush that ideally produces one and on rare occasions two, substantial blooms each month. They look gorgeous in a vase but you expect quality over quantity. “As Providence would have it,” this bush has graced us recently with five or six sizable blooms at one time. It is like roses on steroids. Or, roses on faith!
It sounds hokey, I know. But, I believe that God has blessed the plant life around our home to reassure me that Mom is peaceful and whole. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Mom suffered from a debilitating tremor her entire life. She also suffered from depression that resulted in much anger and frustration. She no longer suffers from these illnesses. She is as beautiful and healthy (and even more so) as our roses. And she’s being taken care of now by her Creator, just as our lovely roses.
Whenever I miss my mom I am reminded of our roses. I am reminded that even as we lose those people that we love, God brings new life into view, in a different way. I’d trade all the beautiful roses and flowering buds in the world to have my mom back. For now, I’m reminded of God’s loving plan for my life and those around me by the flowers that spring forth each year.