I have certainly have enjoyed the flowers my husband brought home on Valentines Day.  The vase life of a rose is notoriously short-lived, usually about a week even with flower food.  I know that in a few days they will be entirely wilted.  Dead.   Then I will put them out in the garden space where they will continue the cycle of life by decomposing into dirt and providing nutrients for all the green stuff I plan to be eating next summer. 

It struck me that our hearts can be very much like those roses.  Even with “pure water” and “heart food” the heart/rose that is cut off from the vine and encased in a vase will, eventually (some quicker than others) die.  No matter how beautiful your heart/rose is to start with, when it’s cut off from the vine it will die, the only difference in what happens next is, who do you give the dried up brokeness of your heart/rose to?    

Isn’t it awesome that God finds beauty in things we could never imagine being beautiful, like a dried up heart?  My guess is that one of the most beautiful things to God is a human heart entirely dead to self.  I would also guess is He doesn’t see that nearly as often as He would like to.  Most of us don’t want to die to self.  We are afraid we will end up looking like the dead roses.  But, truly nothing is as beautiful and useful to God as a heart entirely surrendered to Him and His purpose.   If we take that to Him and allow our heart to be re-planted in good soil, then God the Gardener promises that we will yield a crop of joy 30, 60 or even 100 times greater than ourselves.

“I am the vine. You are the branches. Those who live in me while I live in them will produce a lot of fruit. But you can’t produce anything without me.  John 15:5 God’s Word Translation

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