Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. —1 Thessalonians 5:18
George Matheson was a nineteenth-century Scottish preacher best known for writing the hymn “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go.” During his late teens, he began to lose his eyesight; by the age of twenty, he was completely blind. As he went through that process, Matheson realized what we’ve all come to learn: it’s much easier to praise God when things are going right than when they’re going wrong.
Matheson finally came to the point where he could pray this prayer that has been such a blessing and help to many believers over the last hundred-plus years:
My God, I have never thanked Thee for my thorn. I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses, but not once for my thorn . . . teach me the glory of my cross, teach me the value of my thorn.7
It’s easy to be thankful for the “flowers” in life, but flowers aren’t as special without the thorns. May we learn to praise God and be thankful in everything.
7 George Matheson, Moments on the Mount: A Series of Devotional Meditations (New York: A.C. Armstrong & Son, 1884) 61., My Soul,” 1855.
Make it Personal
What are some ways you can thank God for the “thorns” in your life today?