Friday, June 22, 2012
The Thorns of Life
“Cursed is the ground…through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns…and you will eat the plants of the field” Gen 3:17-18.
Let’s face it - we inherited a tough walk on earth through the fall of mankind. Sin ushered in all pain, not just temptation. Because of sin disease happens and people suffer. Because of sin relationships fall and families are broken. Because of sin tornadoes kill and earthquakes tear apart the ground. Pain, suffering and natural disasters are all symptoms of the original disease of sin. It is written in Genesis that once sin imposed its will upon mankind, the ground on which we live would produce thorns that all mankind must endure.
Paul found this to be true throughout his walk with Christ. ‘…there was given to me a thorn… Three times I pleaded with the LORD to take it away. But he said, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’ 2 Co. 12:7b-8.
We all have thorns…those long running challenges that seem to be an unwelcome companion in our lives; situations that seem to be life-long without a resolution on the horizon. There is a family with the thorn of terminal illness. There is a young girl whose thorn reminds her every day that she will never experience the love of a parent. The painful thorn of watching my niece grow into a young lady without the tender hands of her mother upon her. We all have different degrees of thorns, but what will we do with them? Will we try to numb the pricks or work through the pain with the help of God’s grace? Will we surrender our discomfort and allow God’s power to rest in our circumstances? Will we reach out to those whose thorn seems more painful instead of focusing on our thorn of inconvenience and self-absorption?
Our degree of God’s grace will always match our degree of need. Everything required to endure the thorns have been given to us in a measure that makes us more than just those who endure…it makes us those who conquer and overcome. ‘Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us’ Romans 8:35, 37.
Whatever your thorn may be this morning be encouraged that God’s grace will be sustaining and sufficient for every experience you face.