Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Thorns in Our Lives

I am reflective today. The fact that it is 2009 means we are finally in the year that unless God works a miracle, my husband will deploy. Just knowing it is that year, brings a sadness of its own. We are facing difficult times ahead as a family, but I know others are facing their own challenges too. God brings difficulties in all our lives. It is His sovereign will. We pray for those miracles to come and spare us from them, but in His sovereignty sometimes He chooses His miracle to be walking with us through them, rather than saving us from them. I do not know what kind of tribulation or pain you may be facing now...but God does. Our nation faces its own crisis. We are looking at hard economic times, now and in the future. I would like to leave you with this thought. This poem was taken from a John Piper sermon. You can find his resources on Desiring God ministries. The author is Martha Snell Nicholson. And for those who may not know this already (like me) a "mendicant" is a beggar.

I stood a mendicant of God before His royal throne
And begged Him for one pricelss gift that I could call my own
I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
I cried, "But Lord this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange, a hurtful gift, which Thou has given me."
He said, "My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee."
I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,
As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace,
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face.

Maybe what we are facing and what we will be called to face is the thorn that will pin aside the veil that hides the precious face of our Creator. We find God more times through pain than through prosperity. I still pray for God's miracle. I do not want to have to say goodbye to my husband, nor do I want my children to suffer the pain of being without him so many months. But, if this is God's thorn for us...if He chooses to pin aside the veil that hides His face with this...I pray for His mercies through it. I do not want to be an ungrateful child kicking and screaming against the will of God. Are you facing difficulties today? Are you allowing God to use it to pin aside the veil? May He find us faithful to whatever task He calls us to do.

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