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Unfolding Life

I came across a handwritten poem that our mom had written down from memory shortly before she was called home in 2020. A quick search revealed that it was originally written by an unknown author and connected with the story below. It's a simple but profound account that served as a reassuring reminder to Mom in the last months of her life, and was a truth that she lived by for many years.


A young, new preacher was walking with an older, more seasoned preacher in the garden one day. Feeling insecure about what God had for him to do, he was asking the older preacher for some advice. The older preacher took a rosebud from a nearby rosebush and handed it to the young preacher, then told him to open it without injuring any petals.

The young preacher looked in disbelief at his older friend and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the will of God for his life. But because of his great respect for the older preacher, he proceeded to try to unfold the rose while keeping every petal intact. It wasn't long before he realized how impossible this was to do.

Noticing the younger preacher's inability to unfold the rosebud without tearing it, the older preacher began to share a poem...

It is only a tiny rosebud,

A flower of God's design;

But I cannot unfold the petals

With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers

Is not known to you or I.

GOD opens them so sweetly.

But in our hands, they die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,

This flower of God's design,

Then how can I have the wisdom

To unfold this life of mine?

So I'll trust in Him for leading

Each moment of my day.

I will look to Him for guidance

Each step of my pilgrim way.

The path that lies before me,

Only my Heavenly Father knows.

I'll trust Him to unfold the moments,

Just as He unfolds the rose.

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