by Rosa Zoghbi
How many of you like flowers? Which one is your favorite? Mine are roses. Roses are beautiful and classic flowers that have captivated people for centuries. They have inspired countless poets, writers, composers, songwriters and artists over the years with their elegant blooms and contrasting thorns. Did you know that roses have thorns to protect themselves from being eaten or harmed? They are meant to protect their life, and as important as this is, in some cases the roses might start reproducing hundreds of thorns, a disease caused by a virus called “rosette virus”. Unfortunately, there’s no cure, and the plants that have this problem will die within a year or two.
This quarantine is something that we can all agree has not been easy, or fun. The days pass by and we lose track of time. I wake up sometimes trying to convince myself this was all a bad dream, just to face the reality that it is not. Situations like this can trigger our coping mechanisms, you know, those old habits you have worked really hard to get rid of, that thing you have prayed so hard to leave behind once and for all, then all of a sudden, you find yourself eating extra ice cream, ordering pizza, playing games, watching tv, did I mention not taking a shower?
Habits are like thorns, if we are intentional about maintaining healthy habits, we become aware of the things that help us grow, not only as individuals but also grow closer to God (you can check last weekend’s message from Pastor Cory as he reminds us of our purpose in life). On the flip side of this, if we give in to old destructive habits, it will be like the rosette virus and they can consume our lives. They will drain our spirit and consume our souls, our sense of purpose will start fading away. We will become weaker and pull ourselves from God, craving more of what is destructive and less of what gives us life.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. -Galatians 5:1 NIV
Roses can’t be healed from this, the good news for us is that we have the choice to change. It might not be an easy task, but it’s not impossible.
Setbacks are a big part of the growth process, but whatever you do, don’t quit, keep trying.
You will not be able to do it on our own, you need to surrender it to God and He will help you.
Pandemics have existed as long as humans have walked the face of the earth. If you are feeling hopeless and want to “sugar” your way out know this, the real question you must ask yourself is, who do you want to be when it ends?
Whatever your struggle might be during this season, don’t give in to old destructive habits, instead, get back up and prepare for the times ahead!
Some of the things that have helped me:
- Find someone you trust to keep you accountable, someone that you can be honest with and that you know will advise you with love, wisdom, and grace.
- Find a devotional, there are numerous options on the YouVersion Bible App.
- Join a virtual Bible study.
- If you are able, go for a walk or bike ride.
- And the most important to me personally, think about the things you are grateful for and thank God for it.
You are not alone beloved friend, don’t be quick to judge yourself for setbacks, let God meet you where you are, He is always with you, holding you by the hand, guiding you with His counsel (Psalm 73:23-24).
If you need prayer, we would love to pray for you just click HERE.
Rosa Zoghbi is a young woman whose heart has been captivated by the love of Jesus. She has boldly stepped out in faith over and over again as Jesus has called her to follow Him. She is single by choice and will not settle for less than what God has for her in any area of her life. She is strong, honest, and vulnerable. You will be blessed by her heart as she shares her heart with you today. -Pastor Cindy Grasso