[He humbled Himself…]
Perspective is everything, but sometimes in our impatience, desperation may demand that thorns are simply invasive intruders that have no merit and no place in our lives. We ask Jesus to remove our thorns because they can be painful, and in our grief it’s difficult to see the bright side.
Life’s curveballs can indeed be painful, and pain can feel so unjust. God, however, is always working and His love never ends. His love doesn’t stop when health fails us, nor in our deepest despair. It doesn’t stop when we’ve been wronged, and not even in our own mistakes.
“But 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.” –2 Corinthians 12:9
What It means when God says His grace is sufficient may mean something very personal to each one of us, but I believe in my heart it’s our guarantee that the end result will far exceed the struggle. Paul put it so well when he wrote:
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” –2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Every rose may have its thorns, but I prefer a more encouraging perspective: Every thorn has its rose. I believe that Paul the apostle must have seen it the same way, as what he writes to the Corinthian church speaks volumes of the hope and joy that we find in serving Jesus.
“We are not known, but we are well known. We seem to be dying, but we continue to live. We are punished, but we are not killed. We have much sadness, but we are always rejoicing. We are poor, but we are making many people rich in faith. We have nothing, but really we have everything.” –2 Corinthians 6:9-10
My hope and my prayer is that you too will understand the prize that we have in Jesus, and that His grace is always more than sufficient. When you get stuck on today, I pray that you’ll remember that He’s already worked out all of your tomorrows.
Above all, Jesus is our ultimate Rose. Even the showiest prize rose pales in comparison. What better way to honor our King, than to live a life of love, praise, and obedience, regardless of any thorn that pierces our flesh. After all, He felt that we were worth the sacrifice, and He willingly accepted the piercing of His own flesh.
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”
“Like a rose trampled on the ground, He took the fall and thought of me, above all.” –Michael W. Smith