By Deborah Lovett:
One day several years ago in early spring, my daughter took our 135 pound golden retriever, “Frappy” on a walk. About an hour later, my son and I started looking for them, although we were rather skeptical of such a long walk. Crissy knew she had piano lessons to attend. We had no idea that we would be finding God in a thorn bush that day.
As we screamed for her, we saw and heard nothing. . . until finally a ragged, crying, muddy daughter appeared. “What happened?” I asked. “Are you all right?” She sobbed and I held her tight as she unraveled her story. Her walk had been going fine, then suddenly:
“Frappy darted for the neighbor’s field, and the neighbor’s dog!”
(That dog looks like a very mean and ferocious wolf, I might add.)
“I ran after him. The two growling dogs were at each other’s throats!”
Now you need to understand, Crissy loves (and I do mean loves) her dog! She sprang toward them and found herself smack dab in the middle of a huge block of thorn bushes! Which explains the crying. As I hugged her, and after making sure the dogs were separated and safe, I reminded her of how important it is for us to always watch where we are going. But, I also told her that in a couple of days, those same thorn bushes that hurt her today, will bring great joy to her through their fragrance, color and beauty. They were wild roses bushes, a sight to behold when in bloom.
I wonder what your thorn bush may be today? Is it one you walked right into while following someone else, or perhaps you were not looking where you were going? Have you gotten off the spiritual path God intends for you? When is the last time you looked?
Thorns can bring us closer to God, no matter if they are self-induced, other- induced, or God induced. All things or ‘thorns’ work to the good of those who love God. Some thorns can be sharper than others.
I personally have been learning not to overreact when I run into a thorn bush, but to look for God in it, to rely on His faithfulness through it with prayer and thanksgiving. It seems to me that I have more peace when I take this approach.
Be encouraged in your struggles, pains, hardships and sufferings today. God cares for you, is watching you, understands and loves you.
Remember Jesus bore the ultimate crown of thorns upon His Kingly head when He died for us at Calvary. He understands and has compassion. Now that is truly finding God in thorns.
If you want to do a little personal Bible study on this topic, you can read click and read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 at www.biblegateway.com.
See too, this YouTube video: The Last Painting produced by Igniter Media, with painter Mike Lewis. Christ endured so much pain and suffering for us. He understands what human suffering feels like. Yet he also had a grand purpose in his own suffering: to bring us eternal life.
Igniter Media produces high quality mini movies for use by pastors and others who want to share the gospel. Find out more about them at www.ingitermedia.com.