During our year in France studying language, we would pass through a courtyard garden every day. The garden was home to flowers of many kinds. In bright pinks, yellows, and purples, they dotted the pathways and sidewalks, making our walks to school or church more enjoyable and beautiful.
There was one rose bush that was particularly gorgeous. The roses on this bush stood tall in their magnificent, pinkish hue making it my favorite bush to see.
We arrived in France during the warm days of August but within weeks, fall had arrived.
One day on our walk through the courtyard, I noticed the rose bush had fallen to the ground. What was once tall and beautiful was now crumpled at my feet, toppled and damp. The cooler winds, the seasons changing, and the heavy rain had made an impact on the delicate stems.
The bush bowed low, petals pounded to the pathway where we walked.
Sadly, the change of weather meant that instead of new growth and new roses, the flowers would fully disappear as the bush prepared and readied itself for the coming of winter. It would not stand tall again in the summer sun or marvel us with new buds for many, long months.
When I captured a picture of the rose bush on Instagram, I wrote, “Even though fall is here and life is closing in for winter, there is still beauty. Beauty in the falling, beauty in the change, beauty in the death before the growth… Beauty in the faith that life will come again.”
The rose bush was a picture of a lesson God was speaking softly to my heart, a lesson of learning that beauty remains through the cycles and seasons of life.
Fall must come.
Winter will happen.
The falling and changing and dying cycle comes each year so that the seasons of beauty and life can come again.
The season will change.
The day will come when this precious bush will again grow tall enough to support a bounty of gorgeous roses.
Each year, it will be stronger, bigger, more full, more able, more capable than ever before to withstand the next storm, the next season of life.
That is the remaining beauty, a gorgeous process of growth and change and learning.
We can trust that God’s plan is beautiful, that his goal is much more magnificent than this rose bush.
We can trust Him, trust the process, trust the seasons. We can bask in the knowledge that even in the changing seasons, He is doing something amazing. He is at work when we can not see Him. He is planning and doing and moving when time seems to be slipping away and our life is experiencing great change.
He is the beauty that remains.
He is the promise of beauty that is at work in us, around us and through us. Even when we can’t see it or feel it, even when we face a long season of fall and winter… even then.
The beauty and life remains, regardless of the season, and He is with us through it all.
We can remain surefooted because the beauty of all he plans for us is the firm foundation beneath our feet.
When spring finally arrived that year in France, the roses returned. The long dead bushes started to flower. The courtyard once again flourished in radiant colors.
Beauty truly had remained all through the long winter and into the returning spring.
Friends, what hope we have in our seasons.
What joy we have, knowing that beauty remains, that beauty returns.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;” Isaiah 43:2-3
“I am always with you, to the very end.” Matthew 28:20
What verse reminds you that beauty remains? Would you post it here for us in the comments? How are you clinging to the promise that beauty remains and will return?