Once there was a briar growing in a ditch and there came along a gardener with his spade. As he dug around it and lifted it out, the briar said to itself, “What is he doing that for? Doesn’t he know that I am only an old worthless briar?’ But the gardener took it into the garden and planted it among the flowers, while the briar said,”What a mistake he has made! Planting an old briar like myself among such roses as these!”

But the gardener once more came and with his keen-edged knife made a slit in the briar, and “budded it” with a roses, and by and by when summer came, lovely roses were blooming on that old briar. Then the gardener said, “Your beauty is not due to that which came out of you, but that which I put into you.”

     It’s what the Heavenly Gardener has put into your life that makes you beautiful. It’s His righteousness that makes you worthy. It’s newness of life through and in Him that provides you with a life-giving message for others. It’s the beauty of His holiness given you by His eternal grace and goodness that makes you holy enough to appear be­fore His Father. It’s the Savior—and only the Savior—implanting His love into your heart that creates in you a lovable character to be used for His glory.

Yes—those of us who truly realize we are what we are and shall be what we are only because of Him, know we are useless, ugly, sinful briars—but are now made useful, beautiful and righteous in His eternal garden of glory and majesty.

Reprinted from “ The Messenger,” 1957