Thorns and Roses: No such thing as “thorn free roses” -November 3

A man had twin daughters. One would see the bad around her no matter how great things were. The other would always look for the silver lining no matter how much it stormed. The father worried that both of them were too extreme in their viewpoints and needed to find balance. On their birthday, he would see to it that he would give the one a gift that she could not possibly find the bad in and the other he would give a gift that had no redeeming qualities. When the first opened her gift, it was a beautiful dress, tickets to her favorite musical, and a gift card for a lavish meal beforehand. The girl burst into tears, as though the world was ending. “This dress will cost you a fortune to clean, because I am sure that some waiter will spill something on me or the door will snag it and you will have to pay to get it fixed. The show will probably be canceled because the lead’s voice will give out or there will be an accident.” As the father was consoling his daughter because of her fears, he heard shouts of joy from garage. The father had a load of horse manure left in the garage and his daughter was wildly digging through it, with a giant smile across her face. When asked why she was digging through a pile of droppings, her reply was simple. “With all of this horse manure, there has GOT to be a pony in here somewhere!”

We are surrounded by messages of life’s dichotomies. Rain is required for a rainbow, to every heads there is a tails, light and dark, good and bad, good and evil are all examples where we find life being filled with the positive and negative. It is easy to get bogged down in the negative and start looking for the next bad thing instead of recognizing that good is around us in a greater supply than the bad that inevitably comes around on occasion.

Psalm 42 and 43 (in most Hebraic texts, they are one psalm, not two), David sings praise to God and a song of consolation to his troubled soul. He recognizes that while his personal feelings and emotions are troubling him, he also knows that God remains in control, sovereign over all, and is worthy of both his praise and confidence to heal any hurt he is experiencing. For David, he is able to fear and mourn his circumstances while simultaneously knowing God will save him.

Too many times, we allow our circumstances to crowd out our knowledge and confidence in God’s desire to bless us, His Children. We allow caustic belief to lead us down a path where we refuse to look up to see the God of the Universe working for our own good, miring in our own pain and fear. We allow ourselves to believe that if we fear, we cannot have faith, but the truth is that the presence of fear is able to be addressed when we choose to let our faith lead us out of it. When we question our fear in light of God’s goodness, the path is clear: “Put your hope in God.”

Do I allow my doubt to question my faith or let my faith question my doubt?

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