Which are you most apt to ask:
”Why did God put thorns among the roses” Or… “Why did God put roses among the thorns”
It’s interesting how some see the beauty, and some see the pain.
The reality is that it’s easy to see evil, pain, and heartbreak. After all that’s what the news loves to focus on…that’s what our gossip centers on…and quite frankly, that’s what seems to get our attention.
And yet…there is so much beauty all around us. Look at a sunset, flowers, butterflies, the birth of a child, a baptism, and the list goes on.
So, how can we face the reality that there will be tough days and seasons…and yet be grateful for the blessings we have? I have always loved this verse.
John 16:33… “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
In case you did not know it…this is not the Garden of Eden…. nor is it heaven. We live in a sin filled world that is full of pain, distress, and evil! As our verse says, “in this world you will have trouble”.
Now before you say this is a downer of a devotion and stop reading….I want to remind you that there is beauty all around….and most importantly…God is with you!
Romans 8:35, 37-39…Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If God is with you…you can look for the good in all situations. The glass half full attitude in life. To be JOY-FILLED in the midst of a storm.
The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.
But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling to the sky. The worst had happened, everything was lost. He was stung with grief and anger. “God, how could you do this to me!!!” he cried.
Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him.
“How did you know I was here” asked the weary man of his rescuers.
“We saw your smoke signal” they replied.
It’s easy to get discouraged when things go wrong! But we should stay positive knowing that God is at work in our lives…even in the pain and suffering. Paul, who was the poster child for “having a bad day”, (read about it in 2 Corinthians 11:23-29) writes in Philippians 4:12…I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
He (as we should) found the good in a bad situation. He knew the secret of being content…knowing that God will bring good out of it. Romans 8:28…And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
I know that many of you are facing some very bad situations. I challenge you to focus on your many blessings and the God who gave you those blessings. Gratitude is the best medicine when life gets you down!
So…remember the next time your hut is burning to the ground…it might just be a smoke signal…calling for the Lord to do His thing!
The next time you see a rose….think about it’s beauty in the midst of the thorns.
Humor for your day:
An elderly couple had dinner at another couple’s house, and after eating, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen.
The two elderly gentlemen were talking, and one said:
“Last night, we went out to a new restaurant, and it was really great. I would recommend it very highly.”
The other man said: “What was the name of the restaurant?”
The first man thought and thought and finally said:<br>
“What is the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know…the one that is red and has thorns.”
“Do you mean a rose?” “Yes,” the man said. He then turned toward the kitchen and yelled:
“Rose… what’s the name of that restaurant we went to last night?”