Thorns and Thistles

One briar stretches its stem more than ten feet from its root. The tractor tire slams against the long thin briar. The branch jerks and snaps like a whip bringing its furthest thorns right to my eye. With less than two inches to spare, my eyelid closes, and the skin begins to burn, but the eye on the inside remains safely protected. What a curse – thorns and briars. I see several reminders of God’s plan in this painful encounter:


  1. Thorns are a reminder of God’s curse in response to the first sin. To Adam, God said, “Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you” (Genesis 3:17-18).
  2. When left untended, useful things descend into chaos. Fields become overgrown with briars and thorns. Gardens are taken over by weeds. Lives become selfish and destructive.
  3. Intelligence is required to provide organization and productivity. Humans mined metal, petroleum, and other products to create a tractor and bush hog that destroy briars. Humans use such machines to make land productive. When humans stop applying that intelligence, the land will return to its chaotic state. God created, designed, and ordered the universe. “For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4).


Problems and pain are real. But they remind us of sin and the Creator of the universe. We have many blessings and we owe thanksgiving for every one to the source of all our blessings. Whether you are repairing problems, or applying intelligence to produce good things, remember who makes it all possible – and what you owe him.

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