Where the Roses Never Fade


The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever (Isaiah 40:8).

The rose is my favorite flower. I love its beauty but beyond that splendor I adore its aroma, nothing quite like it on earth. In fact the smell of a rose in bloom sticks to us as we put ourselves in their midst and travels where they go. Yet in a short time the beauty changes to dried leaves and the aroma fades. It was this idea of the beautiful rose that inspired Janie Metzgar to pen Where the Roses Never Fade in 1929.

Man, in all our might, are like an earthly rose. Many attain fabulous beauty, others obtain absolute power. Yet time takes its toll on the beautiful as man who lives long enough shrivels just like the tattered rose. The powerful eventually are replaced by others and find they have no control of their human fate, that all of us will die. Psalm 102:11 reads My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass. Many humans have acquired great riches but what good are they are the end; they too fade away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways (James 1:11).

God is that rose is and more. His beauty is shown forth to us through the earth and the heavens and yet I am sure He is so much more than even they reveal. God is even referred to as the Rose of Sharon (Song of Solomon 2:1); oh what splendor! God is powerful, ruling over the whole world. The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all (Ps 103:19).

God is rich, rich is glory, rich in mercy. He owns the whole world. Yet, God will not fade away. Neither will His word fade away. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you (1 Pet 1:24-25). I am glad that God’s mercy is without end. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children (Ps 103:15-17).

For those of us that have placed trust in God’s only begotten son, Jesus Christ, our home awaits in Heaven, world without end. While our bodies will fade and return to dust our soul will unite with Christ in Heaven and bodies will be resurrected at His second coming. Loved ones that have gone on before wait for us there, now. I believe they are watching us for Hebrews 12:1 says Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses… It will not be that long until we join them.

In that haven of tomorrow we will have no fading of our bodies, no decay, no sickness, no death. There will be no sin to cast off. There will be no sorrow to bear. There will be no disappointment to set us back. There will be no tears to wipe away with only our heartache. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Rev 21:4). The rose will never fade there!

Where the Roses Never Fade is a popular funeral song but it says so much about living. Unlike many of the hymns in my heart I did not hear this song until my early twenties when I accompanied a friend, Tonya, to her church. They sang Where the Roses Never Fade that Sunday morning. A few months later I heard it sang at Southwest Baptist Church in Kingston, Tennessee. One of my more memorable memories of hearing Where the Roses Never Fade was at the funeral of my wife’s maternal grandmother almost thirty years ago. I can still hear Laura Ann’s sweet voice comforting the hearts of loved ones left behind. Today, the song is performed a few times each year by the choir at Liberty Baptist Church in Kingston where I am a member. I relish each occasion.

I am going to a city
Where the streets with gold are laid
Where the tree of life is blooming
And the roses never fade

chorus: Here they bloom but for a season
Soon their beauty is decayed
I am going to a city
Where the roses never fade

In this world we have our troubles
Satan snares we must evade
We’ll be free from all temptations
Where the roses never fade

Loved ones gone to be with Jesus
In their robes of white arrayed
Now are waiting for my coming
Where the roses never fade

Here they bloom but for a season
Soon their beauty is decayed
I am going to a city
Where the roses never fade

tag: O I am going to a city
Where the roses never fade

[Robert Metzgar wrote the melody for Where the Roses Never Fade.]

Have you thought about your fading rose petals? It’s not too late.

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