Today’s Scripture: And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:3

“Daddy, what is that horrible smell?” asked seven-year-old Kari as she wrinkled her nose.

“It’s cow manure,” replied her father with a smile.

“Why on Earth are you putting that disgusting stuff around our rose bush?”

“Because it nourishes the roses, it will make them even more beautiful when they bloom. We may have to endure the bad odor for now, but come early summer, we will only think of how gorgeous our roses are.”

Often we get our nourishment from things that don’t seem like they would help us.

When we serve Christ, we are bound to endure trials and sorrows where all we can do is trust and rely upon the Lord. It is during tribulations that we draw closer to our Heavenly Father and become more like Him.

Although they may be grueling, trials and sorrows will make our lives beautiful. For this reason, we must continue to grow, serve, and praise the Lord despite the pain we feel. When we continue to live for God, He promises our lives will prosper.

Whether you are sorrowing over the loss of a dear friend or desiring to give up because life feels too hard, don’t quit on the Lord. Instead, draw closer to Him. Give him your wilted heart. He will cultivate it through the trials into a beautiful flower nurtured with His grace. Remember, only after being nourished by manure will the rose bloom with more beauty than before.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder