A Single Rose in a Beer Bottle
Many times we get so busy with living that we fail to take the time to enjoy the small and meaningful things in life. There is an old saying that says, “Slow down! Take time to smell the roses.” But have you ever thought of your life as being a sweet fragrance to others?
There is a story told about a pastor in Houston, Texas, who ran a rescue mission. He related this story about a day that he placed a single rose in a beer bottle.
The rescue mission had been started in downtown Houston in a tavern. Since there had previously been 18 murders in 5 years in the tavern, the city had closed it. This pastor related, “Anything from New York to Mars came through the front door of the mission.”
This pastor had purchased 3 rosebushes and named each rose bush after each one of his children. He was surprised to discover that it was not easy caring for rose bushes. When one bush wasn’t blooming, he decided that he would call that child and ask how that child was doing.
One morning, as he was leaving his home to go to the rescue mission, he saw one of the most beautiful roses that he had ever seen in his yard. He decided to cut that rose and take it to the rescue mission. He thought to himself, “I wonder when was the last time that the people at the mission took time to smell a rose.” At the mission, there were runaways, drug addicts, mental patients, drunkards, and prostitutes. When he got to the chapel of the mission, he began to look for a vase to put the rose. Not finding anything, he went upstairs where there had once been a long bar. Since there were no lights upstairs, he felt around behind the bar and felt a beer bottle. He took the bottle downstairs, placed the rose inside it, took it to the lobby, and set it on a table.
This pastor began to watch the people as they came into the mission. As they looked at the rose, their eyes would brighten up. They would go over and touch it. These people, who had been so busy with their sinful pleasures, would stop and look at that rose.
The pastor began to ask questions. The first man he asked was Paul, a man who should have been dead many times. “Paul, what do you see?” Paul said, “I see a rose.” All through the day, he asked that same question to many people. Not one person saw the beer bottle, they only saw the rose. The rose had covered the bottle.
Ladies, our lives are like that rose in that beer bottle. If there is any good in our lives, it is because of Christ. The Bible says that our wonderful Savior is called the Rose of Sharon. The beauty and fragrance of His love started blooming in our lives the day that we accepted Him as our Savior. Just like the rose in that bottle, our lives must be a fragrance to others. When they see the evidence of Jesus Christ springing forth out of ordinary vessels, they will enjoy the sweet fragrance of the Rose of Sharon in our lives; they won’t even notice the vessel. This can be achieved by:
- Being a testimony to others. The world is watching us to see how we react under pressure. Maybe the trial that you are going through right now is an assignment from God to reach someone.
- Cultivating Christian friendships. Most of us are too busy to cultivate friendships. The word friend comes from the Old English Freon. This word means love. Loving in the Biblical sense means to fully concentrate on the needs and pleasures of others. Ask yourself? “Why am I living? How do I want my life to count in terms of eternity?”
- Having a positive attitude. Our attitude affects everything we do. Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
- Expressing appreciation to others. In Luke 17:11-17, Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one expressed his appreciation.
- Overlooking offences. Proverbs 12:16 tells us that a prudent (wise) man does not react every time something is done to him.
- Forgetting past mistakes. Philippians 4:14 tells us that we should forget those mistakes that we have made and press on to things that will please Christ and His work.
- Being hospitable. We must open our eyes and our hearts to the needs of those around us. Romans 12:13…given to hospitality.