Thistles and Thorns: Lessons from the field #3
Updated: Mar 31, 2022
"I have told you these things, so that in me, you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
How encouraging Christ's words are to me. Three things that stand out immediately:
1. He knew that we would have trouble in this life. I can expect it.
2. Relationship with Him ("in me") does not remove the trouble, instead, our relationship with Him allows us access ("you may") to peace in the midst of trouble.
3. The exclamation point! But, take heart! An imperative! A conjunction that joins this command with a history changing fact; "I have overcome the world."
We are a people saved, changed and plucked from an eternity in hell, yet we still live in a fallen world, still battle our fallen nature, are still subject to the creation that groans with the curse.
We are a people able to have trouble and peace, peace and trouble.
As a reminder of this, Kenny and I named our farm "Thistle Hill," because the curse falls on man obliquely (all credit to Spurgeon in this sermon.)
We still must live our lives.
Saved or unsaved, we sojourn our personal story and timeline.
Saved or unsaved, there are thistles and thorns and rocky soil,
yet for a time, in this life, we live.
Immediate death and judgement have not fallen on us.
Instead. For a time, we are able to pull the weeds, and harvest our own food.
Have pain in childbirth, yet still bear children.
Carry invisible burdens and also be filled with the intangible beauty of the sunset.
Weeds. Thistles. Thorns. Trials. Tribulations.
The cares of this world; hunger, fatigue, unrest, corruption, and tumult of the soul. Chronic illness, infertility, disappointed hopes, failure and unrequited love.
"But, Take heart!"
Today, dear one, take heart! Take shelter! Find rest! And may you have peace in knowing Him. Being "in Him." And yes, knowing that trouble is inevitable, but His peace is accessible and His victory, already won. For you and for me.
Lord, in my hard work and labor,
in my times of rest and laughter,
in my physical pain,
in my emotional lonliness,
in my spiritual hunger,
in my good relationships and
in my hard ones,
in my sorrow and
in my joy,
in the plans that I make and
in the plans that are realized,
in my good mothering and
in my shameful too, help me to stand on your solid ground.
Help me to do battle against the thorns and thistles,
with your word to protect me,
convict me, replenish me,
satiate me and to adjust my thinking
transforming it from my way to yours.
Be the God of my every movement, every moment.
Forgive my apathy and pride that keep me distant from your presence and
Forgive my sin that has hurt others and you.
Strengthen me to take heart and to do my work among the thistles.
Thank you, that I can even ask.