In life, we can complain about the thorns among the roses, or we can marvel at the beauty of the roses among the thorns. It seems easier to complain about all that is wrong rather than discover the good amidst all the evil. The world God created is full of exquisite loveliness. On the flip side, the enemy has come and sown “tares among the wheat” (Matthew 13:24-30), ashes among the beauty. It is up to each of us where we will focus our lives, either on the thorns or on the roses.
I hope as a follower of Christ, the choice is easy. Nothing or no one is more beautiful than our Savior. When we see the world through His eyes, we will see the beauty of His creation through a lens of love. But followers of Jesus are not perfect. We lose our focus and see things the way the rest of the world sees them. We give in to the temptation to become so wary of the thorns we never see the roses.
How we view the world says much about how we view God. When we focus on the beauty of His creation, we see His beauty revealed in everything He put in place. When we look with love on everyone we meet, we see His image in each of them—even those we would deem difficult. But if we focus on everything wrong with the world, our view of God will be clouded and altogether inaccurate. If we complain about evil and decay, we will see God as unable or unwilling to do anything about the situation. When we don’t see people through the lens of God’s love, we see them as objects, necessary evils, with distrust and even disdain.
The life of Jesus reflects that of someone who was always looking for the roses. He would ignore the thorns and reveal the beauty surrounding them. Our Lord did not look down on those who had a lower social standing. He never walked by those in need. Instead of recoiling from the diseased, He gently touched them. He saw who people could be, not what their present circumstances dictated. In all things, Jesus saw the beauty and brushed aside the thorns. They were not worthy of His time and energy. Our King is beautiful, and He surrounded Himself with things made beautiful by His love.
Do you spend your life looking for roses or thorns? Which has your attention? Are you looking for beauty or pain, victory or defeat? Our God is beautiful. He created a perfect world and continues to bathe it in His love. When we focus on anything else, our eyes are not on Him. A life spent pursuing anything other than God never ends well. It might look good on paper, but in the end, we will lose it all. Only the love and beauty of God is worth your life. Nothing else will remain. Don’t look at the thorns. Marvel at the roses.