Friday, October 2, 2009

Thorns and Petals








Very True....Read on.

By Lysa TerKeurst

The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.
Luke 8:14

My life has not been a bed of roses.

What an odd statement. It is supposed to mean that I haven't lived a life without snags and hurt. However, think of an actual bed of roses. Doesn't it have both thorns and flowers?

Let me say, if I was reading this devotion and I saw it was going to be about roses, I might be tempted to click "delete" while rolling my eyes and thinking the last thing the world needs is another cutesy Christian analogy. But stick with me here. There is something significant to be discovered about roses and thorns.

My aunt has grown roses for years. When I was in middle school and my family was falling apart, I went to live with my aunt for almost a year. I remember her telling me not to run through her rose garden. After all, she had what seemed like hundreds of other acres that unfolded in wide open fields. I could run there.

But I didn't want to.

I only wanted to run through the rose garden. I wanted to spread my arms wide open and run between the rows brushing my fingertips across all the velvety blooms. I wanted some of the blooms to burst and shower petals all around. Then I could gather the petals and spread them along my path.

As if I could carve a new place in this world lined with beauty and void of adult words like divorce, rejection, and hate ... I wanted my world to be soft, pink, and lovely. So, I took a running start with my arms outstretched only to be shocked with searing pain within the first few steps.

Thorns. Big, mean, vicious thorns. Thorns that ripped my flesh and opened up the flood of tears I'd been so determined to hold back. Suddenly, I hated that bush. I wanted to chop it down and beat it into the ground. But I couldn't do it. I couldn't bring myself to destroy something that produced such beauty.

I stood back from the source of my pain and wondered should I call it a bush of thorns or a bush of flowers. Really, it could go either way.

Suddenly I wasn't just staring at a bush. I was staring at my life. My life. Such a bed of roses. Would I see the hurt or would I see the beauty?

Luke 8:14 says, "The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature." The seed being referred to here is the Word of God. Isn't it interesting that people who are choked by life's circumstances and never mature are referred to as having thorns in the soil of their soul? Yes, life sometimes hands us thorns but we have the choice to park our mind on the thorn or on the beauty it can eventually produce in us if only we'll cling tightly to God's Word. For however a person thinks is how they will eventually become.

If we dwell on and think about the negative in life, we will become negative and God's Word will have a hard time taking root in our souls. If, however, we acknowledge the negative but choose instead to look for the good that can come from it, God's Word will take root in our souls and produce a lush crop of beauty.

It all comes down to choice. That day in my aunt's garden, I chose to be aware of the thorns but park my mind on the petals.

And I guess you could say, I've been making that choice every day since.

7 comments:

  1. Dear Miss Iking,

    Everything in this world is governed by duality. light and dark, good and bad, sweet and sour. just like the roses, it is a balancing act. and this balancing act governs our life choices as well. good, bad, smart, stupid....that is what life is all about and worth living for. Just make sure the choices we make touches the petals more than pricking the thorns.

    You'll be fine.

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  2. Romans 8:28

    28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
    31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

    Francis Collins :

    First of all, if our ultimate goal is to grow, learn, and discover things about ourselves and things about God, then unfortunately a life of ease is probably not the way to get there. I know I have learned very little about myself or God when everything is going well. Also, a lot of the pain and suffering in the world we cannot lay at God's feet. God gave us free will, and we may choose to exercise it in ways that end up hurting other people.

    John Piper:-

    Biblically, it is plain that God has appointed suffering for all His children:
    “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts
    14:22). “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”
    (2 Timothy 3:12).

    God is most glorified in me when I am most
    satisfied in Him

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  3. Dear Daphne..

    "We make them cry who cares for us
    We cry for those who never care for us
    We care for those who never cry for us"

    This is the truth of life, it's strange but true. Once you realize this, it's never too late to change.. :)

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  4. "If we dwell on and think about the negative in life, we will become negative and God's Word will have a hard time taking root in our souls. If, however, we acknowledge the negative but choose instead to look for the good that can come from it, God's Word will take root in our souls and produce a lush crop of beauty."

    Spot on. I'm a firm believer in looking at life positively no matter what curve balls I get. It's obviously easier said than done, but that's how life is, a challenge, a roller-coaster ride with all the ups and downs that makes you scream sometimes either with delight or fright while trying to hold on.

    Gallivanter
    www.danielfranklingomez.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Glass half empty, glass half full... As you have rightly put it, at the end, it is merely a test if an individual is an optimist or pessimist. Some may see a situation as an opportunity while some, being in the same situation, may see it as trouble. Believe me when I say that there are some friends of mine who wish that they are in your shoes, the feeling of being free again is so desirable...

    God has His reasons, girl and we have choices to make. Choices are made based on our own perceptions of the situation. Finally, perceptions are just our own ways to interpret the reality of life.

    I've lost my baby after carrying her for 6 months some time ago and in the process, I nearly lost the love of my life - I thought that I was looking at the 'bush of thorns'. Until I saw the 'bush of roses', I couldn't come to term with my loss. Be strong and everything will fall into place, Amen...

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  6. Hi Daphne,

    I admire your courage to face the world and tell the truth of what is going on. A lot of celebrities choose to be hypocrites in order to save their image of fame.

    Salute!

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  7. Hey Daphne,

    We're all work-in-progress. God's works in us to will and act according to His good purposes. So just continue relying on Him. Jesus paid it all for you :)

    Kev

    ReplyDelete