Philips, Craig and Dean sing a song entitle “The Blessing in the Thorn.” It is a song that has peaked my interest because of God’s promise that he can work all things together for good to them that love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). But let’s be honest, when we are in the middle of a crisis, trial or struggle we don’t feel like there can ever be any blessing in thorn. In fact, usually the only thing that I am thinking about is how I can get out of the circumstance that is causing me so much grief as quickly as possible. The last thing on my mind is how God can be using this tough moment to shape me and bring him glory. I don’t mind it so much when he wants to do that in someone else’s life, but when he does it to me it seems unfair and even mean. But God is not mean and he is anything but unfair. So how can I better respond in moments like these – because I don’t think they are going to stop any time soon? First, I know I need to have better perspective. Proverbs 3:5 tells me to trust in the Lord with all my heart – which is pretty easy when everything is going really well in my life, but not so easy when the bottom drops out. Trust in God is about perspective – how do I view my life? Do I view it as something I own or something God owns? Of course the latter must be true, but again NOT easy. When I view my life as something God owns and I also remember that he only wants to make me into something great and will do that even through pain – that gives me perspective. It may not diminish the pain, but it will help me to make it through the pain because I know that I am never alone. Secondly, I need to remember that I live in a broken world. I don’t know if you have recognized it or not, but this globe we live on has a serious wobble in it! God allows me to go through painful moments not only to shape me, but also to show others his greatness through me; and his greatness never shines more brightly than when I shine in the midst of pain. Thirdly, I know that I have to let go of my selfishness. I have always been a dreamer – it helped me get through those boring English lectures in school (sorry English teachers) – but it also means that I have always had a predetermined idea of what my life should look like. The problem is my idea of my life and God’s idea of my life don’t always match. In that moment, I always feel like I have the right to convince God that I am right and he is wrong – don’t ask me how that usually goes. I like the path of least resistance and God doesn’t always have that in mind for me. God has the right path chosen for me but I have to let go of my selfishness in order to embrace it. I know that I have a lot more to learn in this area of my life, and that is why I am so glad that God is patient and tender – I need both. In this world we are going to have trouble, it is a fact; how we deal with it makes all the difference in the world. I will either get better or get bitter through it all. I want to get better…how bout you?