Rejoice because thorn bushes have roses
My son-in-law is a farmer. In fact, he and my grandson are the sixth and seventh generations working their 134-year-old family farm.
I find farm life interesting, but realize that, having been born and raised in Vancouver, I have a lot to learn. I think my biggest city-girl faux pas so far was calling a hay field an empty lot, much to my son-in-law’s horror.
To him, it is much more: it is a productive field that is an integral part of the farm’s operation and provision.
This experience made me realize that it is important to open our minds to new and different viewpoints. To also intentionally step back at times to see if we can experience things in a fresh way.
We should have a willingness to change our perspective of circumstances and people. I believe that kind of openness and flexibility keeps us young, vital, and growing.
Our perspective impacts our entire life in areas such as health, relationships, behaviour, and events. Whether the impact is negative or positive is up to us.
For example, if we view circumstances as negative, chances are the outcome and our response will be negative.
A good example of this comes from Abraham Lincoln, who said, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
From this, we see how our perspective can cause us to react in a negative or positive way.
Another example is portrayed by the Apostle Paul, who wrote that his imprisonment had served to advance the gospel (Philippians 1:12-14).
He did not dwell on the hardship and suffering of his imprisonment, but instead shared the exciting news of what God accomplished through it.
Paul was able to view his situation in that way because of his close and dedicated relationship to Christ. He abided in Him.
We can also gain that perspective by inviting Christ into our life and spending time with Him in prayer and reading the bible each day.
My simple prayer is to ask the Lord for His perspective, to enable me to see people and situations through His eyes and purposes.
As we begin to see life with God’s viewpoint, we gain wisdom, peace, and strength to deal with life’s surprises and situations.
We have the confidence and faith to believe that, even when hard times come, “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him,” (Romans 8, verse 28).
Patricia Bryan is the pastor of His Path