The struggle is real

Comparing life to a rose garden

Have you ever struggled with or about something in your life? I'm pretty sure we all have. After all, it is a part of life. Have you ever heard the saying, "I never promised you a rose garden"? There was a popular song in the 1970s by Lynn Anderson, "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden".

The song begins with the lyrics, "I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden. Along with the sunshine. There's gotta be a little rain some time ".

I think the writer of this song, Joe South, had a little insight as to what life is all about.

We were never promised our lives would be like a rose garden. When the blossoms are all abloom a rose garden permeates beauty and perfection! When most people think of a rose garden all they think about is the beauty and perfection they see. But then, a rose garden can have its own struggles too. It needs to be nourished and watered. What if it doesn't rain often enough? What if the soil isn't hearty enough? Not to mention the dead leaves and stems that need to be pruned (cut off). So, even a rose garden needs to be tended to in order to maintain its quality of beauty and perfection. Wow. The more I think about it, the more it seems life just might be closer to a rose garden than I originally thought. After all, as humans don't we need water, nourishment, and pruning? Don't we need "tending" to? Hmm...something to think about.

Even the rich and famous struggle from time to time. Proof that money alone doesn't provide true happiness. Take some of the Hollywood elites for example. Some of them are still struggling with accepting the results of an election that took place two years ago! Things didn't turn out the way they wanted them to so they have been throwing tantrums about it for two years! I'm not out to condemn them or anything of the sort. But, I do want to use them as an example.

Life doesn't always go like we plan. There are no guarantees in this life on this earth. Well, except one, but more on that later. We can be on cloud 9 and all seems to be going really good in our lives and all of a sudden...BOOM! We are hit with an obstacle in our paths that turns our world upside down. How do we deal with it? Do we keep fighting for it even if there is no logical solution in sight? Do we throw a temper tantrum that would put a two-year-old to shame? Or, do we pull up our boot straps, re-evaluate where we are at that point in our lives, and decide to move forward with strength and dignity?

If we throw ourselves down on the floor and kick, flail, and scream are we giving up? Throwing in the towel? Maybe. But, do we have to stay there? No. The kicking, flailing, and screaming will eventually subside. Then we have a choice to make. We can either gain our strength and go back to acting out our tantrum. Or, we can lay still on the floor for a while thinking about different ways that we can get up off that floor and go on with our lives. Then, we can get up off that floor and start to take steps necessary to move forward.

I wanted to share this with you today because there is something I am currently struggling with in my life. I won't go into details. But I will say that there is something that I felt very (extremely) strongly that my God was telling me that I was to do. So, I took the step of faith and acted upon what I was told. Then as I was getting things rolling, with little results I might add, I was prompted to add an additional task to the original project. After having worked for several months on the two projects I felt I was led to do, the results are not there like I had expected. In fact, they are pretty much holding on by their last breath. It seems they are dying before they even have a chance to birth.

I started to feel depressed and discouraged (one of the devil's strongest tools). In fact, today I felt like I wanted to throw in the proverbial towel. I was almost ready to just say, "forget it! I'm done!". I wanted to throw myself down on that floor and throw a royal tantrum! But then The Lord spoke to me by bringing a scripture to mind. It's a scripture that I have memorized. Actually, I was reading that scripture every single morning and reciting it throughout the day when I first started my projects. But for some reason, along the journey it kind of fell to the wayside.

Ephesians 6:12, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (KJV)

My struggle (wrestling) is within my mind. It seems that lately I am constantly arguing with myself in my mind about whether to give up or keep going (on the projects). But, is it really myself I am arguing with? Or is it the minions of satan? I'm pretty sure (100%) that the scripture above answers that question for me.

Once we realize where (or from whom) the struggle is really coming from it is so much easier to lift ourselves up off of that floor. It is so much easier to stand.

Ephesians 6:13, Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

What evil day? THIS evil day. THIS day that I was struggling with my mind. THIS day that I was struggling with the enemy in my head. THIS day that I choose to put the evil behind me and to stand! This glorious and beautiful day that started out evil and God turned it around with two simple, yet very powerful, scriptures!

So, what did I do once I realized what was truly happening? I got to working on my projects. I took a step of faith and began. The work is flowing through me. The work seems effortless. I had the strength to turn my back to that floor, I put the towel back on the hanging rack. I took a step forward. I made a choice. I chose not to let myself or the devil get me down. I reminded myself that these projects were ordained by God. I reminded myself that there was a promise with these projects and that promise will come to pass. I reminded myself I am doing those projects not for myself, but to help others. I took my focus off myself and put it on God.

And YOU can do it too! YOU can overcome the deceit and lies of the devil. YOU can realize and understand where our struggle comes from! YOU can declare a cease and desist to the struggle! YOU can get up off of that floor! YOU can put that towel back where it belongs! YOU CAN DO IT!


Hallelujah! HE Reigns!! Jesus is the victor and the victory is mine!!

So, in conclusion, yes. Life is like a rose garden. Even though there was never a promise of a rose garden, we do live out our lives similar to one. I've been provided water and nourishment. Today, I was pruned. The dead leaves and stems (struggles) were cut away. Today, the Master Gardener took care of my needs. And, He's there for you, to take care of your needs too. All you have to do is acknowledge His presence. Let Him do His work. The struggle is real. Though, the struggle is not yours to bare alone. I pray that you will let Him help you with your struggle.

Oh, and that one guarantee in life that I spoke of earlier? Well, the only guarantee we have on this earth is that our Master Gardener will be there. Walking through the garden. Tending to our needs. Whatever they may be.

Until next time...happy prepping, and God bless!