As I started to read the second chapter of the Song of Solomon, the first two verses jumped out at me.
1"I am the rose of Sharon, The lily of the valleys."
2"Like a lily among the thorns, So is my darling among the maidens."
Two of the names Jesus is known by is Rose of Sharon and Lily of the Valleys. Two beautiful flowers. My dad use to raise roses. On our little mound in Lebanon (I say mound because the house was on a mound or hill), at one time he had up to 9 or more rose bushes growing. Most of them he rescued from The Black Barn or some other nursery that was neglecting them. Two of my favorites were Blue Girl, which was a purplish-blue flower that was right next to the porch and the Smell-Good flower. This flower was orange with yellow and white on the petals and it had the most wonderful fragrance!
My dad didn't just grow these wonderful flowers, he raised them. He lovingly planted them, fed them, watered them, pruned them and just when they were starting to bloom, he cut the first one and gave it to Mom. The rest of the hundreds of blooms he cut, he would take where ever he went and gave them away. Every time we went to the store, church, or bank, even the softball fields, he cut what blooms were ready and gave them away. He loved to give them away. He made ladies all over Lebanon smile! Now he does that with his candy. My dad loves to bring a smile to everyone.
God does the same thing with us. He raises us up to bloom. He brings people to us to plant the seeds of His Word, gently waters those seeds until we start growing and then he prunes us when we need it and then others can benefit from the blooms that we produce. Hey, that is a cool analogy, isn't it?
So for the second day of February, love is still the theme. God loves us enough to raise us, if we take root in him. He wants us to succeed. Success isn't easy, though. My dad use to tell me, you have to go through a lot of thorns to get to the rose.