March 12, 2011

the thorn

"every rose has its thorn, just like every night has its dawn."

i love roses. i love the way they smell. i love how soft they feel. and i also love their hidden meanings which are determined by their color. red symbolizes love. dark red symbolizes unconscious beauty. white symbolizes purity. pink symbolizes thankfulness. light pink symbolizes sweetness. yellow symbolizes friendship. orange symbolizes enthusiasm. lavender symbolizes enchantment. and each rose is perfectly unique.

but i have yet to find a perfect rose. because every rose i've ever received has had a thorn. every rose, no matter how beautiful, has displayed a tiny threat. and it is bittersweet to hold something so beautiful knowing that it holds something that can bring about so much pain.

in an effort to keep the reality of a rose, some thorns are left untouched, evident to everyone, exposing the danger at hand. but in an effort to try to increase a rose's beauty and appeal, other thorns are removed, giving the impression that the rose is safe. but in my experience there's always that one thorn that is overlooked. that you just can't see. that you thought was gone. that immediately is found by your most sensitive finger.

some thorns are huge, giving their warning of potential pain like a big red flag. they are clearly seen and very easily noticed. and they give an inaudible alert to stay away. other thorns are tiny, almost invisible to our eyes, and they take great effort to find. but the invisible thorns are usually the most dangerous and hurtful of all because we never are able to see their pain coming. and they betray us with their false image of perfection and beauty.

people are like roses. each person is a perfectly unique and beautiful creation. but just like roses, we all have thorns. struggles. imperfections. blemishes. flaws that result in pain.

just like paul, we live with thorns. we carry them with us everywhere we go. they bring us pain when we realize that they make us imperfect, the exact opposite of what the ONE who created us wanted us to be. and they bring others pain by causing them to stumble. by tearing apart their lives. by creating quick and piercing hurt.

in our eyes, some thorns are huge, giving their warning of potential pain like a big red flag. they are clearly seen and very easily noticed. and they give an inaudible alert to stay away. other thorns are tiny, almost invisible to our eyes, and they take great effort to find. but the invisible thorns are usually the most dangerous and hurtful of all because we never are able to see their pain coming. and they betray us with their false image of perfection and beauty.

but in GOD'S eyes, the thorn is a thorn. there is no size. there is no weight. there is no difference. it is a thorn. a struggle. an imperfection. a blemish. a flaw that results in not only our pain but also HIS pain. and HE is the only ONE with the power to remove it.

and like paul, some of us plead for our thorns to be removed. hoping for peace. begging for comfort. striving for perfection. but others choose to give into the thorn, believing that they were intended to have it. not realizing that it was brought about by a choice that was not determined by the CREATOR. not understanding that we roses were not designed to have these thorns.

they say that their thorns were given to them by GOD. that they were meant to carry them. that their thorns are bigger and harder to bear. that they have pleaded with GOD to remove them but HE hasn't. that they will never live a life without the thorns.

and in their surrender, they choose to give into their weakness. to believe the thorn will never be removed. to embrace their struggle. to succumb to their imperfection. to run with their thorns only to bring pain to themselves and others with every step.

but the truth is that our lives on this earth will always contain a thorn. there's always that one that is overlooked. that you just can't see. that you thought was gone. that immediately is found by your most sensitive finger. but the hope is in the fact that JESUS also had a thorn. actually, HE had a whole crown of them. and HE died wearing our thorns. setting us free. allowing our perfection. giving the hope of one day existing without thorns.

therefore, we must live our lives in anticipation of the day when HE will remove the thorn.

"therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, i was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of satan, to torment me. three times i pleaded with the LORD to take it away from me. but HE said to me, 'MY grace is sufficient for you, for MY power is made perfect in weakness.' " 2 corinthians 12:7-9

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