Beyond the Thorns
Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:7-11 (NRSV).
Through him (Christ) you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God. 1 Peter 1:21 (NRSV)
We are in the Easter season. Colin D, Harbach, from England, was planting a new rose bush when he snagged his finger on one of its many thorns. With greater care and watchful of those thorns, Colin separated the bush's stems to discover the first swelling buds. For him, this bush was a message about Easter. Looking beyond the thorns, we can fix our eyes on new life and the hope of beauty to come. The same is true of our personal experiences of pain and sorrow. We may be pricked by the thorns of questions, doubts, and uncertainties; but we hold on to God's promises. That's faith. At the same time, we keep looking for the buds of new life. That's hope.
With hope and faith, our pain and suffering will end in new life. That is God's promise at Easter.
Prayer: Dear Lord, increase in us faith for today and hope for tomorrow, in Jesus' name, amen.