The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Thorns Plucked, Thorns Unplucked"
Sometimes God delivers by the power of His hand.
"This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles" (Psalm 34:6).
Sometimes God delivers by the enhanced presence of His heart.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).
We rightly rejoice when the Lord delivers us from the challenges and difficulties of life. His purposes often involve our extrication from pains, problems, sorrows, and dangers. However, our Heavenly Father's purposes sometimes involve the bestowal of grace rather than deliverance from trouble.
"And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (II Corinthians 12:7-9).
We all need some unplucked thorns. This presents a challenging, but plainly declared Biblical truth to the heart of every born again believer in the Lord Jesus. Our Heavenly Father loves us far too much for this not to be the case. No Christian has ever lived who would walk faithfully with God apart from trials and trouble. "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). Tribulation gets our attention, and helps to maintain it. "In my distress, I cried unto the Lord" (Psalm 120:1). Continual pleasure, conversely, would cloud our view of God, ourselves, others, and life in a fallen world that leads all its adherents to destruction. Thus, the Lord determines and allows us to venture where the thickets are, and where the thorns are. When He sees us pierced, He removes some, but leaves others to abide, all according to His perfect purpose in our lives.
Doubtless, our loving Father finds no pleasure in leaving thorns that hurt us. Far more importantly, however, He will not deviate in His purpose to always do that which is best for us. "As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31). So, we happily rejoice in thorns plucked, rejoicing in the power of His hand. We holily rejoice in thorns unplucked, rejoicing in the "very" presence of His heart. We will find Him perfectly faithful in both necessary administrations of His purpose to glorify the Lord Jesus in our lives, and to make us like Him in character, nature, and way.
"He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
(II Corinthians 12:9-12)
Weekly Memory Verse
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise, which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.