Rock Rose and Loss

Rock Rose, SJL

This rock rose (Cistus villosus) grew last spring and summer in the St John Church Bible Garden in Roanoke, VA; but died as the summer progressed. Some botanists associate the rock rose with Isaiah’s (chapter 15) prophecy against Moab, while other contend that the rock rose was actually a myrrh. In Palestine and the surrounding area, there were about 9 different flowers named rose. Supposedly, the rock rose grew specifically on Mount Carmel.

I was sad when my plant died and visited my local nursery to determine if I could buy another. The excellent horticulturist  said they would not be getting more of the plants because too many customers reported the plant died after one year. Perhaps I should be happy that I had mine two years.

What happens when an idea, personal aim, or goal dies or we realize it is time to give it up? A part of our idealized self fades or is abruptly gone.¬† I think that we mourn these inanimate desires sometimes as much as we mourn a person or animal’s passing. We are sad; part of ourselves is lost. Because the grief is not associated with someone or something tangible that we hold in our hands does not make the loss any less real.

Reflection: Recently, I had to accept that I would never achieve a personal goal. It was hard. I told God in excruciating detail about my loss and how I felt. God did not give me back platitudes. He listened. Now, I’m eager to see what he does with my loss. I have absolute faith that he will turn my loss into something positive, even more positive than I can ever imagine.

I love Bible plants along with their symbolism. If you want to learn more about them, read my two books: 1) Rooted in God and 2) God as a Gardener. You can purchase them from my website: Carolyn Roth Ministry at

November 19, 2014, Carolyn A. Roth; all rights reserved.


5 responses to “Rock Rose and Loss

  1. Thank you so much for writing this blog and providing such thought-provoking posts — not only today, but each and every week. I look forward to your insights and am amazed at how often they apply to my own life. To have a Christian garden blog to look forward to — two of my favorite things — is so satisfying!

  2. I love it that you have applied your interest in plants to Bible studies. It may seem like a small thing, but it gladdens my heart to read your blogs. Help me find the rock rose reference in Isaiah 15. The NASB reads “grass” and “tender grass” in verse 6.

  3. God will turn your loss into a gain. Perhaps much more than you would have had. Lord bless you!!!

  4. “Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed…” John 12:24. The Lord is faithful, and He indeed has better plans for you!

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