Sometimes I feel that I know how the rose feels…to have a thorn in its side. I’ve written about the thorn of the rosebush before in the context of relationships (Relational Rose Bush). We know roses have thorns and must treat them as so and not curse the way they are! Some days I believe I too, have a thorn in my side. There’s this thing that is just apart of how God made me that gets twisted up in my flesh and rears its ugly head. It’s purposes are against God’s plan and desire for me. I have prayed for deliverance of it, confessed it, sought forgiveness for it’s effects, ignored it, shoved it in a locked cabinet, fasted over it, but it’s still there, just like the rose’s thorny stem.
While I was running one day, I was praying about this area of me. I was asking God if it would ever go away? If I could ever just go through my day and not face this thing that pricks me? I ran and ran in the silence. No word. By the end I was begging to hear something from Him – just a word, a picture, something to encourage my soul. During this run, my eyes were incredibly dry due to my contacts. I had to constantly blink just to keep them from feeling like they would crack open. It was frustrating. I wished I could just keep them closed the whole time, but that obviously wouldn’t be too safe.
Finally, I realized this was my image. I felt that that irritation my eyes felt is like my “thorn”. It will be there. I haven’t sinned and done anything to bring it on, just as I didn’t do anything to make my eyes dry. I also made it. I kept running and didn’t let it hinder me. I disliked the discomfort, but I survived. In a way, I may have actually run faster, because I wasn’t really paying attention to running. I was concentrating mostly on keeping my eyes moistened.
In the same way, God says, He promises, His Grace is sufficient for me and that His Power is made perfect in my weakness. I can boast in my weakness, my struggles because in them, He becomes greater and I become less. Praise the Lord! I will Praise Him for as many days as I am afflicted.
Maybe you don’t wrestle with a personality thorn, but something around continues to prick you each time you pass by. Whatever it is – that thing you’ve repeatedly, sometimes with tears and fasting brought to the Lord and asked Him to change or remove – but it’s still there. It still rears its ugly head. Still makes you doubt or tremble. That thing may be what God chooses to bring you closer to Him. That may be how He intends to shine all the brighter through you and shine clearer to those around you!
Again, I speak to myself. I don’t have to curse the rose for its thorns, for God is greater than the thorn.
Putting it In Our Own Words,