The Rose in the Manure

There is so much going on in the world today that stinks.

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There is a contagious disease that has been hyped into a world-wide panic by the media.

There is a political polarization within the United States that has been exacerbated by the media and one of the political parties to the extent that this country is as divided as it was during the mid-1800s when the argument about slavery tore us apart.

There is continual racial animosity that has (again) been so exacerbated by the media that it has caused nation-wide rioting, looting, and deaths.

Antisemitism is on the rise (again) and we have three Congresswomen who no one can understand how they got elected: two hate America and democracy and the third has demonstrated such a fierce lack of understanding about the economy, government or history that she has become an embarrassment to her own party.

And our economy is in the toilet as a result of the over-reaction to the Covid-19 virus outbreak.

Folks, if ever this country was in the middle of a pile of you-know-what, it certainly is now!

Yet, in the midst of all this tsouris, we see there are still people coming together in peaceful protest; we see people freely giving food and other supplies to those who are economically in trouble; we see churches and synagogues that have been told by the government to close their doors using the Internet to stay in touch with their congregations and to continue to spread God’s message.

In the midst of the manure in which this country is immersed, there is a rose growing. Because of what it is surrounded by, we can’t smell it right now, but we know that it smells nice and we can trust that as soon as the manure dries up and dissipates, we will be able to smell that sweet scent of the rose.

Often our lives seem to be completely out of control, and we are suffering from troubles that overwhelm our senses. It becomes hard to maintain faith and remember that God is still in charge, and sometimes we even wonder if God is punishing us. We can become unsure of ourselves and doubt that things will ever get better.

But, somehow, they always do get better, and that is because God IS in charge, and even if he is punishing you, he will also help you to get back on your feet so long as you maintain your faith and believe that he is doing all this for your good.

In this life, there are animals that defecate on the roses, but that doesn’t stop the rose. No, in fact, when a rose is defecated on, it uses that manure to grow. It ignores the stink and finds the nutrients that will make it even stronger so that when the manure is gone, the rose will continue even more beautiful and aromatic than before.

That is what we must do, now and anytime our lives are drowning in drek. The gold won’t be purified until it goes through the fire, and when God allows the fire to consume us, it is up to us to accept the heat, remember that it won’t last too long, and patiently continue to faithfully trust in God to make it all right at the end. And, when we come through it, we will be stronger and able to handle even more stress than before.

Now here is the part no one wants to hear: after you go through the fire, there will be a next one and that one will be even hotter!

But don’t let that cause you worry or concern because you have history to look back on and to give you confidence.  Hey! You have been through this before; it was hotter last time than the time before that and you are even better now, so the hotter the fire, the better you will be.

So c’mon, world: bring it on!! I’m ready to take whatever the world throws at me; I know I can get through it because greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). 

Let me finish today with this: I hate watching commercials that insult my intelligence; it drives me crazy to see people driving alone in their cars with the windows closed and wearing a face mask; I am really upset that so many small businesses are closing and people suffering because of the media hype over a disease that kills less than 2% of the total population; and it kills me, especially as a former active duty Marine, to watch this country being torn apart at the seams because our leaders are so obsessed with destroying each other that they are taking the country down with them.

And on top of all this, there is brutality in the streets with people looting, rioting, and killing others all in the name of fair treatment. What a lie!!

I can’t begin to tell you how frustrated I am that I can’t do anything about it.

So, nu? What are we to do?

We should wait patiently on the Lord and maintain our faithful trust that he will see us through this, or (if you ask me, better still) he will continue to allow it as part of the final days when the world will be judged and the Messiah will return to bring lasting peace.

That’s how I deal with all this tsouris in the world: I wait on the Lord and look for the rose in the middle of all this manure, knowing that soon I will be able to enjoy its wonderful scent again.

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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

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