No Thornless Roses

August 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Personal Growth

No one ever said being a Christian would guarantee us a bed of thornless roses.  This week proved that point for me.  How can so much heartache befall a people at one time without their hearts bursting from the pain?  I could list several things that have afflicted us as a church family over the past two months, but I'll just mention the most recent—a close friend in church passed away quickly from ovarian cancer and septicemia.  She was just 50 years old.

Rose bushes certainly do have thorns.  But just as they have thorns, they have roses.  There has been laughter, as we remembered the hilarious pranks and sayings of our dear friend.  The psalm is true that says, "Joy comes in the morning.”  It could just as easily say, "Joy comes in the mourning."

Some say life is hunky-dory for Christians—are they looking at the world through rose-colored glasses?  How are we to deal with these tough times?  I know the saying that it rains on the just and unjust, but I also know that God is all-powerful and He could reach down and interfere with a disease process and allow a person to escape death.  When He chooses not to, does this make Him any less of a caring God?

Not the God I love.  He knows things we don't know.  Perhaps He saw how this disease would progress, and in His mercy stooped down from His Heaven and scooped up His beloved Barb, rescuing her from a certain suffering.  We try to figure out why He does things or doesn't do things based on our mindset, but we do not have all the knowledge of all times (past and future) at our disposal to make wise decisions.  In fact, if we are honest, we want Him to do things based on our feelings more than our faith.

Our God is a loving God; He just shows love in ways we don't always understand.  Who among us can claim to understand Christ dying on the cross, but that was the ultimate act of love.

Those who promise a pain-free life as Christians are disillusioning others.  But my life is filled with the Problem Solver, and the Peace Giver in the midst of the problems.  I can't say the garden has no thorns, but I can focus on the fact that it does have roses.

PRAYER: Father, I know You have our best interests in mind when You allow terrible things to happen, and I’m learning to be okay with that.  Help me trust in You more as the Problem Solver and the Peace Giver.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts,” Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV.

Today’s devotion is by Kathy Carlton Willis, wife to Russ, pastor’s wife to many, author, editor, publicist, and speaker.  Kathy Carlton Willis Communications encompasses her many passions.  Learn more at: or

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