Thursday, February 28, 2008

Normalcy of "Thorns"

It is very interesting that "thorns" (problems, suffering, hardship, testing) are normal in the biblical presentation. Adam and Eve stood in the Garden awe stuck, I am sure, at having not been and then were. Their first view of the Paradise must have been awe inspiring. It was a perfect world without sin or the consequences of sin. It was not, however, free of hardship and testing. Their "thorn" was the decision to have faith in God and eat from the "tree of life" or ignore God and eat from the "tree of knowledge of good and evil." The first test or trial which caused suffering of spirit happened there, in Paradise. The story is told in Genesis 3 - Eve led the way wondering and thinking about the tree - it was pleasant to the eye and good for food and for gaining wisdom. Adam hung back, never said a word and he and Eve together failed the first test of scripture. It would be a repeatable scene. Over and over again thorns appear. Big ones, little ones, intense ones, short lived ones, but they appear. Each time the decision made about them is the most important point. It is not about the thorns themselves but what we humans do with them. Thorns are normal, they have been with us since the beginning. After the "fall" they would increase in significance and frequency. In the garden there was just one, in life there are many. They are just part of life. How we get through them is a matter of faith.

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