As Spring approached, we found ourselves out in the yard after a long cold winter cleaning up the yard. Leaves and sticks needed to be picked up, bushes and roses trimmed. As I trimmed the rose bushes back a little I left a pile of clippings on the driveway. Our children were coming behind me picking them up and disposing of them for me. They got ahead of me and before I could warn them they grabbed a pile of thorns. It caught them off guard, there were tears, tiny scratches and Bandaids (of course). Everyone recovered and we got back to work, but after that they approached each pile with caution and if they saw thorns they used their garden tools to move them instead of their bare hands.
But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them. Numbers 33:55-56
In this verse, the thorn for Paul was those who were immoral and wicked. However, like us, Paul faced many other thorny obstacles (just check out the book of Acts). What kind of thorn (sin) has recently caught you by surprise? Is it greed, materialism, lust, popularity, dishonesty, or something else? Is is something you have struggled with for years or just recently experienced? Satan knows our weaknesses and if we aren’t approaching God in prayer for protection, the evil one can sneak up on us when we least expect it. Are you prepared for the next attack? When he throws the next thorn will you have up your shield?
What thorn seems to find a way of creeping into your mind and trying to choke out your trust, faith and security in the Lord? The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. Luke 8:14
Ask for God’s forgiveness and protection. We can’t handle the thorns without the right tools and only God can provide the right tools to fend off the evil one. Yes, you will fail sometimes. The Lord knows I have and I am certain I will many more times in this life. There may be tears, wounds, and pain, but learn from the failures, the weak moments and the surprise attacks so when you recover, you can move forward and thrive as a child of God.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:11