You may be thinking, “Well, Gary, my rose bed has more thorns that roses!” If you’re saying that, I’m sure it does feel that way many times…or most of the time.
When my wife and I lived in Mexico, one of the homes had a rose garden of 70 different species of roses. They were absolutely beautiful. Some were very exotic. All of them, of course, had thorns.
Many people (especially Christian people) are looking for a time when the thorns won’t exist. At least there will be very few.
“When will this end?!” is what I sometimes hear. As if the favor of the Lord…the demonstration of His victory…was waiting for the person who finally does everything right.
Here’s what Jesus promised God’s sons and daughters living in this world’s condition. He said, “In the world you will have tribulation. But, be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”
Another question the Holy Spirit put on my heart was, “What do you look at when gazing upon a rose bush or garden of roses.” I responded, “at the roses.” There’s the key. It’s natural for a man, woman, boy, or girl to look at the beauty of the roses. And that holds the key. Fix your eyes on what comes naturally to a person. Fix your eyes on the beauty of the roses. You know the thorns are there, but do not put your attention on them instead of the flowers.
Many people have focused for so long on the thorns of life (and in some cases understandably so) they’ve become “blind” to the roses that are right there.
If your eyes are consumed with the sight and sting of the thorn, ask Him to help you see the rose blooms. They are there! It may take a little while of making a conscious choice to do so. Perhaps you’ll have to retrain your eyes moment by moment. But, I can attest to the fact that your life is, in fact, a rose garden and not truly a thorn patch.
The Apostle Paul said, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12). Let Jesus walk you through the garden of your heart. Come awake and smell the roses! It’s actually factually our choice.