When I was a young woman of one 18 month old boy, I was working in the yard. I opened the garden shed in our yard to get out a rake or something of the sort. In the shed, I saw something I have never been able to forget. It was a long stem with a rose on it. It was amazing.
The thing that made it striking was that the stem was pale, pale green and almost transparent. The rose was also a strange color. Outside the shed was the rest of the rosebush. It was thriving with dark green foliage and vivid red blooms.
I knew that God was warning me in this vivid/pale object lesson. The warning was to not hide in the 'shed'. What do I mean by this? I have this 'treasure in an earthen vessel'. This means that when I accepted Jesus into my heart, He came in to make residence in me, the earthen vessel. I am not to just live for myself and my joy. I am to share the beauty of God.
For years I loved sharing God and loving on people. Little by little my health failed. I pulled back from people and became a 'home body' who rarely left my house. I didn't suffer fromAgoraphobia, I just hurt too much to leave much. If I did leave, I had much more pain to endure when I returned home. (I do have a great story of restored health on my Facebook page, Elaine Littau author.)
In staying home, I began to write books and did convey the message of God's love through them. Then, two years ago, my third sister passed away. I allowed the sorrow to overtake me. I got sicker and sicker. I kept my focus on myself. I didn't share the love of God. I became the pale rose.
I am happy to say that the Lord has renewed my health and I am learning to love on people again. Because of the deep valley I went through I am able to hear what people tell me when they share about their suffering. Maybe now I can be God's hand extended to them and ecourage them, pray with them, and help them find hope and health.
I am not the pale rose anymore.