roses more precious. It was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so
we might know His love. Let's be thankful for the thorns in our lives,
they make us wiser, stronger and better. Here's an inspiring narrative
why we should be thankful for the thorns of life.
Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes as she pushed against a
November gust and the florist shop door. Her life had been easy, like a
spring breeze. Then in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a minor
automobile accident stole that from her.
During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son. She grieved
over her loss. As if that weren't enough, her husband's company threatened
a transfer. Then her sister, whose holiday visit she coveted, called
she could not come for the holiday.
Then Sandra's friend infuriated her by suggesting her grief was a
path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer.
She has no idea what I'm feeling, thought Sandra with a shudder.
Thanksgiving? Thankful for what? She wondered. For a careless driver whose
truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that
saved her life but took that of her child?
"Good afternoon, can I help you?" The shop clerk's approach
"I....I need an arrangement," stammered Sandra. "For
Thanksgiving? Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to
challenge the day with a customer favorite, I call the Thanksgiving 'Special?'" asked the shop clerk.
"I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued.
"Are you looking
for something that conveys 'gratitude' this Thanksgiving?" "Not
exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months,
everything that could go wrong has gone wrong."
Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the shop clerk said,
"I have the perfect arrangement for you." Just then the shop
door's small bell rang, and the shop clerk said, "Hi, Barbara...let
me get your order." She politely excused herself and walked toward a
small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of
greenery, bows, and long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose
stems were neatly snipped: there were no flowers.
"Want this in a box?" asked the clerk. Sandra watched for the
customer's response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no
flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed.
"Yes, please," Barbara, replied with an appreciative smile.
after three years of getting the 'special', I wouldn't be so moved by its
significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again," she said
she gently tapped her chest. And she left with her order.
"Uh," stammered Sandra, "that lady just left with,
uh....she just left with
no flowers!" "Right", said the clerk, "I cut off the
flowers. That's the 'Special'. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns
Bouquet." "Oh, come on, you can't tell me someone is willing to
pay for that!" exclaimed Sandra.
"Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling much like you
today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to
thankful for. She had lost her father to cancer, the family business was
failing, her son was into drugs, and she was facing major
same year I had lost my husband," continued the clerk, "and for
first time in my life, had just spent the holidays alone. I had no
children, no husband, no family nearby, and too great a debt to allow any
what did you do?" asked Sandra. "I learned to be thankful for
thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I've always thanked God
for the good things in my life and never questioned the good things that
happened to me, but when bad stuff hit, did I ever ask questions! It took
time for me to learn that dark times are important. I have always enjoyed
the 'flowers' of life, but it took thorns to show me the beauty of God's
comfort. You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're
afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others."
Sandra sucked in her breath as she thought about the very thing her friend
had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't want comfort.
I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God." Just then someone else
walked in the shop. "Hey, Phil!" shouted the clerk to the
balding, rotund man.
"My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving Special....12
thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a
tissue-wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.
"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do
you mind me
asking why she wants something that looks like that?" "No...I'm
glad you asked," Phil replied.
"Four years ago my wife and I
nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the
Lord's grace and guidance, we slogged through problem after problem. He
rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of
rose stems to remind her of what she learned from "thorny"
times, and that was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems.
My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem"
and give thanks for what that problem taught us."
As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the
Special!" "I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in
my life." Sandra said. "It's all too...fresh."
"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "My experience has
shown me that
thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more
during trouble than at any other time. Jesus wore a crown of thorns to
show His love to us. Don't resent the thorns."
Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident,
she loosened her grip on resentment. "I'll take those twelve
thorns, please," she managed to choke out. "I hoped you
would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a
"Thank you. What do I owe you?" "Nothing. Nothing but a
promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year's arrangement is
always on me." The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra.
"I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you would like
to read it first."
It read: "My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have
You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me
the glory of the difficulties I bear; teach me the value of my thorns.
Show me that I have drawn closer to You along the path of pain. Show me
that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more
brilliant." Praise Him for your roses; thank Him for your thorns!
By Tim Pedrosa
ask God to change your circumstances;
He sent your circumstances to change you.
gives us problems so that we must think, thinking makes us wiser,
and wisdom makes life wonderful.