Friday, January 18, 2008

The Thorns of a Rose

The rose is one of the most beautiful flowers in this world to me. I have a picture of a rose garden above my makeup table. The bushes are as tall and full as the two women walking beside them. I bought this picture in 1981 at a discount store for my first apartment. I have sense replaced the tarnished brass frame with an expensvie frame and it is still one of my favorite pictures that I own. I envision God's garden will be like this but grander!
My favorite old hymn is "In The Garden" by C. Austin Miles:
I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
*And He walks with me,
and He talks with me,
*And He tells me I am His own;
*And the joy we share as we tarry there,
*None other has ever known.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go;
through the voice of woe
His voic9e to me is calling.
It is in this scene of nature that I find rest and peace and God. The more roses the better!
The design and fragrance of the rose magnifies God's creativity! I am a rose, unique to God's creation. Each pedal represents the blessings God has graced me with throughout my life. With each new blessing I become fuller and more beautiful for my God. But the rose doesn't start with the pedals, it starts with a seed that grows into a stem. And for most roses, the stem is not without a few thorns.
Most places in scripture reference thorns in a negative sense:
"In the paths of the wicked lie thorns and snares,
but he who guards his soul stays far from them."~Proverbs 22:5 (NKJV)
In mockery, they laid a crown of thorns on Jesus head before he was condemned to be crucified:
"The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns
and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe." John 19:2 (NKJV)
For Paul in the New Testiment, it was something he had to endure and carry with him throughout his life. It was something that kept Him focused, not on himself but on what God had called him to. It kept him humble:
To keep me from becoming conceited
because of these surprisingly great revelations,
there was given me a thorn in my flesh,
a messenger of Satan, to torment me." ~II Cor. 12:17 (NKJV)
Are we much different then Paul? Do we not all carry around thorns from our life? Maybe it is the thorn of the loss of a child, the torn of divorce, the torn of abandonment or rejection, the thorn of adultery, the thorn of addiction, the thorn of an abortion, the thorn of lies, hatred, bitterness, or anger. Maybe it is the thorn of a chronic illness or disability. There are many thorns that enter our life, some of our own doing, some without a personal invitation on our part. But the thorns do not have to be who we are. They do not have to be a constant reminder of the pain associated with our failure or inflictions.
Like the rose, the thorns can be a part of what created its beauty. It is through the thorns that we are able to develop into what God has designed for us. It is through the thorns, if we allow it, that we become God's masterpiece.
The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
Even with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
The excellence of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the LORD,
The excellency of our God.
~Isaiah 35:1&2 (NKJV)
The thorns represent the wilderness and wasteland of our journey to Christ. It is upon finding Christ and leaning on Him that we can blossom into a beautiful rose He can use to represent His joy and glory. A rose that others will see, a frangrance that will draw them to God's love, a reflection of God's grace! They will see and and know that if the thorns of your life can be used by God, then how much more can God do for them?
Life without thorns would be so much easier to live but God calls us to move away from the thorns and to blossom in His goodness. God calls us not to deny our thorns but to use them for His glory.
"Not that I have already obtained all this,
or have already been made perfect,
but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 3:12-14
We were created by God-He chose us. We can choose to be His rose, made from His blessings, stronger in Him through our thorns, beautiful only by His grace. Or we can chose to be overcome by our thorns, a barrier to our true being-what God has designed us for.

In His Graces~Pamela


Lysa TerKeurst said...

Sweet Sweet Friend---
your entry will not be overlooked. I am going in to fix that right now. You know lists are not my gifting. Sorry about that! YOU ARE IN THE RUNNING!!!!

Miss Sandy said...

I wanted to pop in and say thank you for your recent visit to Quill Cottage and I am glad that you felt welcome. Blessings on your day!

Miss Sandy

Miss Sandy said...

Thanks for stopping by this morning and for telling me about the formation of opals. I did not know this. The first piece of jewelry my husband gave me was an opal ring, locket, and matching earrings. I have worn that ring for over 30 years now and it is still in mint condition. I was told that opals are soft stones and it might crack or break and to be careful when wearing it but so far so good. Blessings on your day.
Miss Sandy