Thorns

TOSHIBA Exif JPEGSharp, jagged objects, things that causes sharp pain, irritation, or discomfort.  

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 still 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 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, adjust to them, enduring 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 very 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 should 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 vulnerabilities and frailties.

Would our life be better without “thorns” or “Achilles heels”? Probably not! We need “humbling” and brought back down to earth occasionally. We need refocusing and reminding that we are less than perfect with our share of weaknesses and shortcomings. Sometimes it is these “pains” that stimulates our greatest growth. “No pain, no gain” is a popular but profound statement. Pain has a way of getting our most 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. Being often 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 got your attention. Chances are it is something that needs your undivided attention.

Wisdom: There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt. Erma Bombeck   

Spiritual: (NIV)

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 journey. We come into this world with talents and abilities that God has given us. There is potential to become more than we are. We do not live up to our potential due to complacency, comfort zones, or maintaining status quo. We need reminding of our shortcoming and weaknesses. Pain is part of what it takes to grow. “Thorns” remind us of unfinished work. God loves us and uses our thorns to grow us.

Prayer:  Help me use the “pain” in my life to grow and to become stronger.

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