©2005, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original
It was a windy day and I was sitting in my favorite chair having my devotions, getting ready for our Bible Study that evening. There was a thorn in my flesh. The thorn took the form of my neighbor’s gate. Our neighbor’s gate is attached to our house. It was not latched shut. It’s hinges aren’t great and it scrapes along the sidewalk very loudly. Whenever it bangs shut it sounds like someone has hit our house with a sledgehammer. The sledgehammer was directly behind my chair. As I mentioned before it was a windy day. Every few minutes I would hear the ‘scccccccrrrrrraaaaaaaape – bang’ sequence. It was very annoying. Especially when I am trying to be thoughtful and attentive to God’s word in one part of my brain because in another part of my brain I am having a conversation, polite of course, with my neighbors about fixing that blasted gate so it doesn’t scrape every time it opens and shuts or at least if they would latch the thing when they leave.
This scenario carries on for awhile. Suddenly God breaks into my ever-so-polite conversation with my non-present neighbor and I hear, “So why don’t you go do something about it?”
“Like what?” I say, “Go latch the gate myself?”
There is silence on the other end. Apparently this is a thorn that can be removed.
The light breaks through! By golly there is something I can do about this problem. Instead of commiserating in my head with non-present people I could actually get up off my comfy chair and DO something about it. Fancy that!!
I put my books down, put my shoes on and go latch their gate. It takes all of about 45 seconds before I am back in my house, shucking my shoes and carrying on with my preparations – without the banging of the gate in my ears. I have taken care of this little annoyance without any fuss or bother. The thorn is gone.
A lesson was brought home to my heart in that moment. I spend way too much time complaining about things that I can actually do something about. I have my own personal ‘thorn’ list see if your list matches up with mine:
- the cleanliness of my house
- the numbers on my bathroom scale (actually can’t do too much about them at present – but at least I have a REALLY good excuse for awhile)
- lack of connectedness with other adult-type individuals
- Not nearly enough time in a quiet space with my maker who gives me wisdom and strength to handle all of the above
This is not unlike my own children who often complain to me about problems that they could easily do something about, expecting me to come to their rescue. I won’t do it. For example, the dog leaves a calling card in the playroom – their response is to come and tell me about it, who will immediately at this stage of life, begin to gag. I tell them there is no need to tell me about it but to simply DO something about it. They are finally getting that idea into their young heads, especially after a front row seat at a gagging scene. They have been trained in the art of getting rid of doggie-doo and are now capable of doing that thing all by themselves. They are capable of taking care of some of life’s problems without mom’s assistance. Perhaps you and I are capable of taking care of some of life’s business ourselves and God is simply waiting for us to catch on. Most likely He has already given us the training in thorn removal that we need and is expecting that we can now carry on on our own.
Today, if you are waiting for rescue for one of your thorns, take a peek at your training. Has God already given you what you need to deal with your thorn and it could be removed if you did something about it? If that is the case, how about you take on the slogan of that famous shoe company and JUST DO IT.