"This Blog made to bring Glory and Praise to the Lord"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thorns:A Beautiful Reminder

I received the following in a Fwd email and it was just so touching and so true that I wanted to share on here. We often forget to praise God during the storms of life. We need to learn lessons from our trials and pain and remember him in times of good or bad.

Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes when she pulled open the florist
 shop door, against a November gust of wind. Her life had been as sweet as a
 spring breeze and then, in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a "minor"
 automobile accident stole her joy. This was Thanksgiving week and the time she
 should have delivered their infant son.  She grieved over their loss.
 Troubles had multiplied.
 Her husband's company "threatened" to transfer his job to a new location. Her
 sister had called to say that she could not come for her long awaited holiday
 visit. What's worse, Sandra's friend suggested that Sandra's grief was a
 God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who
 suffer. "She has no idea what I'm feeling," thought Sandra with a shudder
 "Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?" she wondered. "For a careless driver whose
 truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended me? For an airbag that saved my
 life, but took my child's?"
"Good afternoon, can I help you?"
 Sandra was startled by the approach of the shop clerk. "I . . . I need an  arrangement,"
   stammered Sandra.
"For Thanksgiving? I'm convinced that flowers tell stories, " she continued.
 "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this Thanksgiving?"
"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything that could go
 wrong has gone wrong." Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the
  clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."
Then the bell on the door rang, and the clerk greeted the new customer...
"Hi, Barbara, let me get your order." She excused herself and walked back to a small
 workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows,
 and what appeared to be long-stemmed  thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose
 stems were neatly s nipped: there were no flowers.
 "Do you want these in a box?" asked the clerk.. Sandra watched - was this a joke?
 Who would want rose stems with no flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither woman
 laughed. "Yes, please," Barbara replied with an  appreciative smile. "You'd think after
 three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its significance,
 but I can feel it right here, all over again," she said, as she gently tapped her chest.
Sandra stammered, "Ah, that lady just left with .. . uh .. . she left with no flowers!"
"That's right," said the clerk. "I cut off  the flowers. That's the 'Special'.  I call
 it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet.  Barbara came into the shop three years
 ago, feeling much as you do today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had
 very little to be thankful for. She had  just lost her father to cancer; the family
 business was failing; her son had gotten  into drugs; and she was facing major
 surgery. That same year I had lost my  husband," continued the clerk. "For the
 first time in my life, I had to spend the  holidays alone. I had no children, no
husband, no family nearby, and too much  debt to allow any travel."
"So what did you do?" asked Sandra.
"I learned to be thankful for thorns,"  answered the clerk quietly. "I've always
 thanked God for the good things in my life and I never questioned Him why those good
 things happened to me, but when the bad  stuff hit, I cried out, 'Why? Why me?!' It
 took time for me to learn that the dark  times are important to our faith! I have
 always enjoyed the 'flowers' of my life,  but it took the thorns to show me the
 beauty of God's comfort! You know, the  Bible says that God comforts us when we're
 afflicted, and from His consolation we  learn to comfort others."
 Sandra sucked in her breath, as she  thought about what her friend had tried to
 tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't  want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm
 angry with God."
Just then someone else walked in the shop.
"Hey, Phil!" the clerk greeted the  balding, rotund man.
"My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement . . twelve
 thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil  as the clerk handed him a tissue wrapped
 arrangement from the refrigerator.
"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra  incredulously. "Do you mind telling me why
 she wants a bouquet that looks like that?" "Four years ago, my wife and I nearly
 divorced," Phil replied. "After forty  years, we were in a real mess, but with
 the Lord's grace and guidance, we trudged  through problem after problem, the Lord
 rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to
   remind her of what she had learned from "thorny" times. That was good  enough for me. I took home some of those  stems.. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give  thanks for what that problem taught us."As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra,  "I highly recommend the Special!". "I don't know if I can be thankful for the  thorns in my life" Sandra said to the  clerk. "It's all too . . fresh."
"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that the thorns
make the roses more precious. We treasure  God's providential care more during
 trouble than at any other time. Remember that it was a crown of thorns that Jesus
 wore so we might know His love....Don't  resent the thorns."
 Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she
 loosened her grip on her resentment. "I'll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns,
 please," she managed to choke out. "I hoped you would," said the clerk gently.
  "I'll have them ready in a  minute.". "Thank you. What do I owe you?""Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart...The first year's arrangement is always on me."The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card to your
 arrangement, but maybe you would like to  read it first."
It read: "My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a
 thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of
 the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer
 to You along the path of pain. Show me  that, through my tears, the colors of Your
 rainbow look much more brilliant."
Praise Him for the roses; thank Him for the thorns.
God Bless all of you. Be thankful for all that the Lord does for you.
"Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, and leave the rest to God."
We often try to fix problems with WD-40 and Duct tape.   God did it with nails.

1 comment:

  1. Wow...I really needed this today.
    Not only with my blog messing up, but some other things going on ;)
    Thank you so much for sharing!


Thanks for stopping by and dropping a note:) I love hearing from my bloggy friends around the world:) Drop by anytime,just remember this is a Christian blog so keep it clean. God bless and have Wonderful day!