My grandmother was a precious and godly woman. One of her greatest pleasures was growing a yard full of beautiful roses, the majority of which she gave away to others. I remember seeing buckets and buckets of roses in her kitchen, as she prepared to give them away. Only recently I learned that my grandmother went a step further than just being generous. She spent hours removing the thorns of every rose she gave away. She wanted her friends and family to enjoy the beauty without the pain of the roses. She endured all the pricks for them.
As we celebrate—and grieve—the great gift sacrifice of Jesus, we should remember that He took the curse of thorns on His Holy head so we wouldn’t have to.
We find from Genesis 3:18 and Numbers 33:55 that in the Holy Land, the ground was cursed with prickly thorns.
Often, we become aware of thorns in our lives. These may be “thorns of the flesh” like Paul had:
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me 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.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12: 7-9
Do you have thorns to deal with right now? We all will at one point or another in our spiritual journeys. These can be a constant source of irritation or temptation or pain. As Paul discovered when he asked for his “thorn” to be removed, God is enough. God’s power is made perfect in our weak, thorn-filled situations.
We must realize that every thorn allowed in our life is filtered through His great love. Every thorn has already pierced Him before it ever reaches us.
What are we supposed to do with these thorns? Turn to Jesus. He took the curse of thorns on Himself when he allowed the crown of thorns on His holy head. And when the curse is gone, the healing can begin.
by Martha Snell Nicholson
I stood a mendicant (beggar) of God before His royal throne
And begged him for one priceless gift, which 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 hast 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.