February 17th. It’s a special kind of day; my Dad’s birthday. It’s also the day I receive a rose from him in honor of Josiah Day. It all started five years ago when he had a red rose delivered to my home; it represented the love God has for me and my dreams. The next year, on the very same day, I stood on our back porch receiving a blue one with a note about how this color represents in the bible the impossible. However, the impossible is easy to change with simple addition…adding the letter “a” in between the letters “I” and “M” making it IAMPOSSIBLE. But not that I am the one who can make it possible, but the Great I AM can. Powerful, isn’t it? The following year it was green, representing new life and petitions that it would be the year it would form in my womb. Last year I opened our front door to a sweet florist holding a rose that was white, thinking it would mean surrender and that it was time to give it up, I was relieved to know that it also meant triumph and victory. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the year I would experience triumph and victory, at least not over infertility.
I’ll be honest, I dreaded receiving the rose for this year and secretly prayed it would slip his mind. It’s been five years since his tradition started, but nearly eight years of contending for a miracle and waiting to see if it would come to pass. At this point I can’t be the only one who has the occasional thought as to if I truly heard the Lord whisper to me the promise of a son (with an attached name of Josiah) or if it was my hormones talking foolishly. Therefore, as I sat staring at this beautiful yellow rose so innocently delivered, and looking at the card still left to be opened that was attached, I couldn’t help but feel a small shred of shame; shame that I was afraid would come, hence the reluctancy in wanting a rose.
After all, how many more colors will he be able to send before he runs out? That would be embarrassing. And to others, is my testimony starting to rot and stink? Does it smell of corruption and decay? Are some looking at the duration of my wait and deciding God isn’t trustworthy or someone to wait upon because He hasn’t answered my prayer?
Each thought reminded me of Psalm 69:6 when David expressed that he was devoted to waiting on the Lord to finish writing his story, but feared others would be discouraged by how it was looking, and the time it was taking. Like David, I am devoted, but have concern that others might look at it, see its unfinished status, and wrongfully conclude, “It doesn’t pay to wait on God.” The Lord’s reputation is important to me, and I never want anyone to stumble away from Him because of what my story looks like in this moment, concluding it is all in vain and futile.
Therefore, as I sat staring at this yellow rose and struggling to open the card, I felt the Lord whisper to my tender heart that it’s all okay. My dad won’t run out of colors because He, the Lord, won’t allow it. Nor will He allow any child of His who places their hope in Him be disappointed or ashamed. For me, that means He won’t let my steadfast stance to wait upon Him become a stench to others. Instead, He is devoted to turn it into a sweet aroma of life, a life in the form of my sweet baby boy Josiah, who will in turn be a witness to His faithfulness; ultimately sparking hope in the hearts of others who are also waiting on long awaited promises to be fulfilled.
Like me, you might feel as though you are stuck in a chapter of waiting, and as a result suffering shame. But know this, you and I won’t be ashamed. Because there is a difference. While shame refers to temporary feelings of reproach when our stories are unfinished; being ashamed has to do with how the story ends. It involves seeing the last chapter without having seen God’s deliverance. And sweet friend, God won’t let this happen. Not to me or to you.
“For they will not be ashamed all who wait for me.” Isaiah 49:23
As for the card, I finally opened it and this is what I read…
“It’s Josiah Day, and this year I give to you the color yellow. It is the brightest color and the color located in the center of the rainbow–A symbol of God’s promise. Within the Word of God yellow symbolizes…
Faith, God’s Glory, Anointing, Words of Wisdom, Refining Process and Yielding, Life of Joy
So, my prayer is that you experience ALL of these. FAITH that is unshakable, a new revelation of GOD’S GLORY, a fresh ANOINTING of His Power and WORDS OF WISDOM. The humility to YIELD to the REFINING PROCESS and LIFE OF JOY that will radiate to all those within your circle and beyond…but especially for the JOY of the LIFE that will one day soon rest safely in your arms.
I love you P.H!
Dad (a.k.a. Josiah’s Poppy)
*My Dad used to call me ‘Punkin Head’ but as I got older he shortened it to P.H.
For more on each rose: Every Year My Daddy Gives Me a Rose for Infertility
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