Monday, June 11

Leaning Against a Thorn

Thorns of trials.
Thorns of affliction.
Thorns of adversity.
Thorns of all kinds.

Thorns pricking. Briers sticking. Thistles piercing.

Pricking thorns of...

* abuse
* divorce
* addiction
* a lost job
* failing health
* loss of a home
* financial disaster
* a friend’s betrayal
* a teen making bad choices

The enemy stands ready to prick us at any time with adverse circumstances.

However, sometimes we find ourselves being pricked with the barbs of consequences when we lean into an avoidable situation, something God’s Word clearly states that we are to shun.

If we lean into wrong desires, our hearts will be pricked with the thorns of heartache and sorrow.

If we lean into improper thoughts, our hearts will be pricked with the thorns of guilt and remorse.

If we lean into fleshly lusts, our hearts will be pricked with the thorns of shame and regret.

Sometimes, God will remove the thorns; however, on occasion, He will leave them for our good, as when He left Paul’s thorn to prick him when he leaned into pride.

I wonder if we ever thank the Lord for the thorns? What? Thank Him for a trial, a heartache? All things work together for good, remember? So says Romans 8:28.

The next time a thorny ordeal is pricking you, remember the words of this prayer by George Matheson, a blind Scottish theologian and preacher in the late 1800s...

My, God, I have never thanked Thee for my thorn. I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorn...Teach me the glory of my cross; teach me the value of my thorn. Show me that I have climbed to Thee by the path of pain. Show me that my tears have made my rainbow.

He thanked God for his blindness. Is that something we would do?

What did David say? “I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of His glories and grace.” (Ps. 34:1 TLB)

What about Habakkuk’s attitude? The prophet asserted his faith in God and promised to praise Him, even if all else failed, “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation.” (Hab. 3:17-18 NLT)

Being thankful is easy when everything is hunky-dunky, but the praise that emanates from a pain-ravaged heart, pressed by a thorn, is the sweet-smelling sacrifice of holy incense that rises to the throne room and lingers at the Father’s feet.

But what of those times when our hearts are pricked with grief?

Once I heard a song of sweetness
As it cleft the morning air,
Sounding in its blest completeness,
Like a tender, pleading prayer;
And I sought to find the singer,
Whence the wondrous song was borne,
And I found a bird, sore wounded,
Pinioned by a cruel thorn.

I have seen a soul in darkness,
While its wings with pain were furled,
Giving hope and cheer and gladness
That should bless a weeping world;
And I knew that life of sweetness,
Was of pain and sorrow borne,
And a stricken soul was singing,
With its heart against a thorn.

We are told of One who loved us,
Of a Savior crucified,
We are told of nails that pinioned,
And a spear that pierced His side;
We are told of cruel scourging,
Of a Savior bearing scorn,
And He died for our salvation,
With His brow against a thorn.

We “are not above the Master.”
Will we breathe a sweet refrain?
And His grace will be sufficient,
When our heart is pierced of pain.
Will we live to bless His loved ones,
Tho’ our life be bruised and torn,
Like the bird that sang so sweetly,
With its heart against a thorn?

~ Author unknown

Do you sing and thank the Lord when a thorn pierces your heart with pain?

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10 Responses
  1. Debra Says:

    Lynn, praise Him for the thorns as well as the roses, because He is worthy. What good examples these are, and those of character and spiritual depth will appreciate the necessity of gratitude no matter what life’s circumstances may bring.

  2. It's easier over time to praise God for the thorns--it's about praying in all circumstances with thanksgiving. It takes discipline to even start thinking that way but since God is so faithful, once you start, it's easier to stay thankful; because thanksgiving comes from the heart and that's where God resides in us.

  3. What a beautiful post today, Lynn! It's one I'm sure is resonating with many women at this moment dealing with various thorns in their lives. We all have one...and probably to be honest, many thorns. Of course, I tend to find myself kicking-and-screaming like a toddler when the thorn first breaks my skin. Given time I can see a little more clearly (though not necessarily understand) and am able to thank the Lord that his strength is greater. His power is stronger. His wisdom is wiser. It's by HIM that I need to measure the challenge/problem/thorn -- not me. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful post today. I pray that it encourages many!

  4. Denise Says:

    Fantastic post.

  5. lynnmosher Says:

    Debra, I'm honored to have you visit. Thank you so much for your kind comment. Blessings to you!

  6. lynnmosher Says:

    You're so right, Carol. Once you start, it is easier to stay thankful. And for of the seemingly silliest things! Thanks so much for being such a special follower. Bless you!

  7. lynnmosher Says:

    Jeannette, thank you so much, dear one, for your generous words. You bless me. Blessings in return to you!

  8. lynnmosher Says:

    Denise, I so appreciate having you visit. Thank you so much for your comment. Bless you!

  9. Erin Says:

    Lynn, I absolutely love this post! There are so many different kinds of thorns, ones thrust upon us and ones we walk into. I've never thought about God leaving the thorn there to remind us!! This post really blessed me. Thanks so much for sharing!
    I love you!

  10. lynnmosher Says:

    Erin, you are such a sweetie! You make my heart so happy! Thank you so much for all your kind words and reposting. Bless you, dear one!