Thorns and roses grow on the same tree. Turkish Proverb
He who wants a rose must respect the thorn. Persian Proverb
Thorns serve a purpose; getting our attention, humbling us and causing us to focus. Randall Burkhalter
One of the memorable things about having a thorn in us is that we often forget it is there until it sends a sharp pain to remind us it is still there. Things can really be going well; then all of a sudden “our thorn” decides to remind us we have a problem. Sometimes we need “painful reminders” to refocus our attention.
Our thorns often bring us back down to earth when we are up there soaring like eagles. The pain is “sharp” and demands our attention. Some thorns are easily removed while some are so deeply imbedded they cannot easily be removed. We have to learn to live with them, to adjust to them, to endure the pain and to go on with our lives. Thorns are not necessarily all bad. Some of us tend to get a little “high and mighty”; too high on ourselves; too cocky and conceited. Thorns have a way of deflating us and bringing us down to earth. They are sharp; pricking our “big head” and deflating us of our hot air and lofty ego. Sometimes this is exactly what we need; we need “humbling” from time to time. “It is what the doctor would order for us”.
Thorns can be physical or mental. They can be caused by people, circumstances, or events. They can even be self-inflicted and often are. Such things as temper, ego, conceit, and other personality flaws are major thorns for us. “Achilles heels” are close cousins to “thorns”. They are our vulnerabilities, weakness and our fragile places that have no “armor” of protection. Both are reminders, from within or without, sending us painful reminders from time to time to get our attention and remind us of our frailties.
Would life be better if we did not have “thorns” or “Achilles heels”? Probably not! Most of us need to be “humbled” and brought down to earth occasionally. We need reminding that we are less than perfect with our share of weaknesses and shortcomings. Sometimes it is our “pains” that stimulates our greatest growth. “No pain, no gain” is a popular but profound statement. Pain has a way of getting our undivided attention.
It can be said that without “our share of thorns”, we would be limited in our ability to grow and become. Our “painful reminders” are necessary “pre-requisites” to help us get the most benefit from life’s many experiences.
Challenge: Are you aware of some “thorns” in your life? Learn to appreciate the “positive side” of the Thorn Experience. Getting pricked by thorns is a necessary part of life. If you are out living your life, experiencing all that comes your way; thorns will occasionally get your attention. When “painful” reminders do come your way, reflect why the thorn wants your attention. Chances are it is something that needs your focused attention.
Wisdom: Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. Lance Armstrong
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4
Trials and tribulations are part of life’s experiences. We came into this world with talents and abilities that God has given us. We have the potential to become much more than most of us presently are. We do not live up to our potential because of vegetating, staying in our comfort zones, or maintaining status quo. We need to be reminded of our shortcoming and weaknesses. “Thorns of life” are a reminder we have unfinished work.
Prayer: Help me use the “pain” in my life to grow and to become stronger.