My eyes focused on the soft morning light filtering through the blinds in my room, I stretched lazily as my ears tuned to the sounds of the birds chirping outside my bedroom window.
I generally do a fair amount of reflection in the early hours of the morning. I was lying in my cozy bed thinking and remembering. Some of those memories were painful ones that did not conjure up happy feelings inside of me. And then I reflected further. Suddenly, my entire perspective changed and my heart was filled with a song of gratitude.
I recollected all the good memories in the midst of those painful times. The wonderful people that blessed our lives. The serendipitous moments along the way! I remembered the many meals we ate in different peoples homes...the people who blessed us with gifts, and suddenly I felt overwhelmed by all the many blessings in the middle of the difficult season. I had been looking at the thorny challenge and remembering the pain. And somehow I had clean forgotten all the incredible, beautiful, fragrant events and people that had brightened up those times and filled them with a sweet aroma like a rose.
How easy it is to see the thorns when the bush is covered with beautiful, sweet smelling roses.
- THE THORN BUSH HAS ROSES ON IT
- Even in the most difficult times of life, the thorny encounters, the painful pricks, and the heart wrenching pain - you can still look back and see the rose in the middle of that time. Maybe there was only one small rose, but I guarantee that if you look back you will see the beauty of the one rose on that prickly thorn bush. I sometimes wonder how I made it through those challenging times. And then it is almost as if God opens my eyes to look and see. I find that even in those horrendous times there was an abundance of roses.
- When my son had his terrible motor accident thirteen years ago, I thought my heart would break and I would come undone. What I found however, was that God ensured that the thorn bush was loaded with roses. The love that Christian friends poured out on our family was an overwhelming fragrance that saturated our lives and gave us the courage to go on.
- YOU CAN DWELL ON THE THORNS OR THE ROSES
- You can choose where your gaze will be. You can concentrate on the thorns and life will be prickly. Alternatively, you can look at the roses and enjoy the fragrance. It is as simple as choosing where your focus will be.
- IF YOU LOOK AT THE THORNS THE ROSES DIMINISH BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE ROSES THE THORNS VANISH
- It is strange but true - if you look at the roses the thorns seem to disappear. As you choose to concentrate on all the good things in the midst of difficulties, then the challenges are lessened.
If you look for the blessings in life you will find them everywhere. Even in the midst of challenges there are always blessings. Yes, sometimes they come in disguise, but if you look for them you will be amazed at how evident they were all along the way. A little song I learned many years ago says: "Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done."
I trust you will take time to reflect on the many blessings in your life. My prayer is that the challenge of the day will diminish in the light of your blessings. May the fragrance of those blessings speed you on your way.
I am and always will be,
recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,