Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Shepastor: "Why Do Roses Have Thorns?"

6Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. II Corinthians 12: 6-10 (NIV)

“Mommy, why do roses have thorns?” The question of my nine year old daughter as she looked curiously at the budding rose bush in our backyard garden. As I thought of an answer for her, my mind drifted into the many “thorn riddled rose bushes” in our lives. Why must we have thorns? It seems that while still on earth, most beauty is tempered by some form of thorn. In some instances the thorns invade seemingly perfect families with illness, death or some other marring experience. On jobs, a seemingly perfect experience can quickly turn “south” with a change in staff, location, position or pay.

In the church, what once seemed like a great fellowship can be disrupted with changes in membership, leadership or economic downturns. What’s up with the thorns? As Paul experienced, thorns keep us from becoming too “high minded,” conceited and or believing that we are all that we are due to our own abilities. Thorns remind us that all that we are, all that we have and all that we ever shall be is only possible through the grace of God. Thorns remind us of the need to pray, trust and rely upon the strength of the Lord to carry us through. Thorns keep us from getting too comfortable. Thorns also protect us from the corrosive poisons of arrogance and pride. Ultimately, thorns remind us that this world is not our home.

Jesus reminds us, “ I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (NET)

Despite thorns, we rejoice in the roses, knowing that through Christ we are overcomers!

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Until Next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

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