The Thorn and The Rose
The other day while walking, I noticed a beautiful rose bush in full bloom. The beauty of the roses touched my heart, but I was also reminded that to enjoy such beauty, there were thorns along the stem to be dealt with. So much of life is the same way. To reach the beauty in our lives, we must overcome the thorns along the way.
Why are there thorns on a rose stem? After some research I discovered the thorns are used as a defense mechanism, to ward off predators and extend life. The thorns develop long before the bud begins to form and bloom.
In life we seem to have to climb up the trellis of thorns before we can reach the full bloom of life. Depending on the decisions we make the path can often be long and winding. I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life and have been pricked by the thorns I’ve encountered many times along the way.
As a youth I thought I knew best. My decisions led me on a path that was not led by God. If I’d sought God, my path would have been very different. Proverbs 22:5 says “Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse: He that keepeth his soul shall be far from them.” (ASV)
When we allow ourselves to stay among the thorns, we are allowing ourselves to be strangled by them. So often we see or hear of people suffering from addiction and never able to overcome their battles. Regardless of our vices or decisions, once we become involved with the wrong people or crowd, these decisions will grow up around to devour us. Luke 8:7 says “And others fell amidst the thorns; and the thorns grew with it, and choked it.” (ASV)
Thankfully I do not have to bear the burdens of my decisions alone. There is hope! There is one who paid for these sins on the cross, but he didn’t stay dead. He rose again! The early Christians identified the petals on the rose as the five wounds of Christ. Once I re-surrendered my life to Christ, He began to pull me out of the tangles of thorns around me, and began to form the base of the stem as I began to bud. This is not a process that happens overnight. The changes come slowly and are not always easy. There are still battles to overcome, but by keeping my eyes on Christ I know that one day I will be a beautiful rose.
We won’t truly see our rose fully bloom until we step out of this life and into the glory of heaven. Only then will we understand the path our lives have taken and the people we’ve touched.
Is your life surrounded by thorns? Is Christ blooming in your life? What changes do you need to surrender to fully bloom?