Recently, I found myself completely sucked in scrolling through a friend’s Instagram profile because of her beautiful flowers. She has an immaculately curated garden with the lushest green leaves, and the most delicate pink roses I’ve seen this side of heaven.
In her pictures, the natural beauty that resulted from her work and dedication shine like a trophy of pure delight. While I, being a follower, can admire from a pristine vantage point, one thing remains unseen; hidden, tucked away from view are the thorns.
Thorns are mentioned often in the Bible as results of curses (Genesis 3:18), comparisons to thriving yielding land (Isaiah 5:5-6, Matthew 7:16), and were heavily used in Jesus’ parables (Matthew 13). Of all the occurrences listed, the one that grieves my heart the most is the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head before He was crucified (John 19:2).
The Creator of the ground from which the thorns would grow donned a makeshift crown fashioned by unbelieving soldiers. This circle of thorns would forever become a symbol of the intentional pain inflicted on Him at the cross.
Jesus wore the thorns of mockery and shame for our benefit.
Do you have any thorns?
Do those trials that are painfully acute seem to mar the reflection of beauty in your life? You know the ones that cut deep into your flesh and sometimes cause you to question your faith?
Friends, you are not alone. Thorns are not lovely, but they have a purpose – to help the roses grow. Your life is a rose in God’s garden, and He will allow some pruning from time to time. That’s how the best ones flourish. You’ll see that you too can bloom in stunning fashion despite your hard places.
Anyone that cares for roses is familiar with the barbs that are completely linked to their stems. Yet those who would find pleasure in the flowers must also brave the thorns. Forethought warns you to wear gloves or some other protective gear to get to the roses – you won’t obtain them without harm unless you do so.
But don’t let that discourage you. Because here’s what matters most – the value of the rose is in no way diminished because of the thorns. It’s quite possible that the effort required to gather the roses actually increases its value despite the thorns.
So friend, are the thorns worth it? Absolutely! Both in gathering the beauty that comes from the rose and in the salvation that comes from the Savior.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 KJV