by John E. Werhan
Roses are one of the most beautiful flowers that God has blessed this world to enjoy. In my childhood my mother had a unique rose bush that grew at our back porch. It was called a peace rose. One year the blooms grew to an extraordinary size, the size of a dinner plate.
Mother took a sample to the local garden supply to ask why the great size. The only thing different was that this one bush was being fed different than before.
Even though these roses were beautiful I also remember that they had large thorns. For some reason I was always getting into the thorns. This rose bush is like life, with the proper diet it can be extraordinary. Yet, there are still thorns.
As we walk the paths of life it is inevitable that we will have difficulties. Satan is constantly placing thorns in our lives.
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
Jesus, in the parable of the fig tree, encourages the listeners not to allow Satan to weigh them down with the worries of life.
“Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34-36).
Truly, Satan will use the things of the world to tempt us to turn away from the source of true beauty.
God does not put thorns in our lives. He desires that we have a life that is extraordinary.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
God loves us (agape (love): the desire for the very best for another). It is his desire that we have a life full of beauty and blessings. He also knows that we must live in this world with all its trials and troubles, but it is through our Lord that we have the strength to overcome what blocks our path.
James in his letter gives inspired instruction as to how we can profit from the thorns of life.
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).
The Lord is always with us when we face difficulties and he will never leave us (Matthew 28:20). No matter how difficult things have been, the right diet allows us the strength to overcome all Satan has done to us.
Satan is working diligently to lead us away from God by placing thorns in our paths. But when one is truly walking with God they can endure and overcome anything they face.
The question each of us should ask is, “How am I dealing with the thorns of life?”
John preachers for the The Northeast church of Christ
in Sentinel, Oklahoma.