It is such a good feeling to look back and see the person you were. At least, it’s a good feeling when you see positive change. I saw change in my life.
People love the good times when life is easy and everything is good. Yes, it feels like the best times in your life. At least, that’s what I think. I hated the periods of difficulty. I’ve come to realize that there is a place for every rose and thorn in life. The roses give beauty but the thorns build character.
The seasons when life is full of thorns can be painful but when you look back, you can see the difference in you. Situations that would make you angry, now bring a smile as you say to yourself, “This too shall pass.” Those sharp, prickly thorns bring out strength that was dormant inside of you.
The thorny season moves very slowly. I have experienced the thorns. In the infancy of your experience, the thorns pierce your flesh like a dagger in the heart. But, as you continue to work with the thorns, you develop scar tissue. When the thorns prick your hands, you experience discomfort but the blood flow diminishes. That is the development of character in you.
So how do you go from the pain of the thorns to the development of character? That is not a journey you need to undertake alone. You embark on that journey with a guide who understands your pain and hurt. I have a friend and he has promised that he will stick with me closer than a brother. You may wonder why the analogy of a brother is used to describe how closely this friend will stay with me.
In the best of families, there are periods of discord where the bonds that held them together are broken. If my friend said I will be with you like a brother, and I had an experience where a brother is not close then I will not have confidence in my friend. When you have to face the thorns in life, you do not want to embark on a journey with someone who will abandon you. Hebrews 13:6 says, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” You want to travel with someone will be there when you are happy and when you are sad.
The friend that travels with me is Jesus. He has made and continues to make a difference in my life. So now when I face difficulties, I have the experience of my thorny season to support me. As I face the new challenges in my life, I know from my past experiences that I can face them with confidence. If I can survive what went before, I can face what is ahead.
So how does this work? In my quiet moments I communicate with my friend; I am not afraid to share my innermost thoughts. In those quiet moments, I am reminded that Philippians 4:13 says “ For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” That is my source. So with His strength I can do things that seem impossible to me. That is where change comes into my life; it’s easy to see where I am and where I came from in every season of my life.
I do not have to walk in fear or doubt. When my friend walks with me, I can walk in victory.