Thorns and Thistles
1Thess 5 “Thorns, Thistles and God’s Will”
Thorns and Thistles are part of our world and when experiencing them we respond with “ouch.”
But, children also meet them as thorny people. Their attitude and countenance says, leave me alone. You ask how they are doing but their response is a cold shoulder. OUCH. What did I do to deserve that?
You fail to respond instantly when another is hurting and they offer unkind words. OUCH! It seems they carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. They have been pricked and want you to feel their prick as well. Children meet them every day in play, at home and outside the home. They are confused as to how they are to respond. As their mentors we want them to know holy people don’t prick with thorns but God’s compassion. Instead when faced with a thorn:
· Always rejoice.
· Constantly pray.
· In everything give thanks.
Thorny people are distinguished by being unruly, fainthearted, weak and yes antagonistic. Paul told the Thessalonians that these must be handled with care. Compassionate words can be used to admonish them and to esteem them highly in love. Thorny people are a reminder that we must pray for them and be grateful that God is in charge, not us. God is working this that they might know and trust Him in all circumstances. This is God’s will for them and us because as believers we all are reconciled to the Father through Christ’s sacrificial death and are therefore a new creation in Christ. If they are not believers they need this reconciliation power all the more!
Others might be thorny people but children too can be a thorny person when they respond in thorny fashion. Thorny responses grieve or extinguish the Holy Spirit’s power. OUCH. As their mentors we want them to not be a thorn.
Roses have thorns but they are also beautiful. Today be a rose by choosing joy, prayer and gratitude. Let's help children know that thorns take away joy but roses are God's gift of his love and compassion.
Don’t let the thorns prick you taking away your joy. Listen carefully to the voice of the Spirit!