Each day I read a little devotional called Streams in the Desert, written by Mrs. Charles Cowman in 1925. It’s not ‘fast food inspiration’ but often provokes me to think and weigh the words she has transcribed from her husband’s sermons. This morning, it went like this:
“George Matheson, the well-known blind preacher of Scotland, who recently went to be with the Lord, said: “My God, I have never thanked Thee for my thorn. I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses, but not once for my thorn.”
“Yeah,” I thought, “easy for George to say. He didn’t lose his seven-year-old son in a fire.” I surprised myself; that is not really who I am at all! When we lost Ryan, we suffered tragically like any mom and dad would. Each step we took seemed to be just as painful as the last, until we set our sites on the “roses” in our lives. Tyler was only two yrs old. And then came Trenton. And then, Colton. And there it was: the Hirn Bouquet!
We never got over the pain of the thorn, and don’t ever expect to. But we began training ourselves how to adjust to the pain of the thorn by acknowledging the smell of the roses. God had left us here for a reason.
Ron and I knew our purpose was to raise our boys to be kind and compassionate, to love mankind, without prejudice, without unrealistic fears, accepting people as they are. To grow in grace. Those things don’t just fall into place. We made a commitment!
Our six-month world trip with our three boys wasn’t all thorns and it wasn’t all blossoms. But we knew if we wanted a sweet adventure there would be both.
Life is so hard. The easiest way to endure a loss is to close your eyes and wake up to a new day. But it never is a new day. It’s the same with an even larger challenge requiring a bigger running start than the previous day. You have heard all the analogies – the diamond in the rough being polished, the fire burning off imperfection. But when it comes to your family, there is no better illustration than family spending time together.
Engage with your family. The same stem that produces the thorn, produces the rose.