Romans 5:8,10 – Yet the proof of God's amazing love is this: that it was while we were sinners that Christ died for us. If, while we were His enemies, Christ reconciled us to God by dying for us, surely now that we are reconciled we may be perfectly certain of our salvation through His living through us. (Phillips)
Having been raised in farm country, I grew up with a hatred of the thistles the farmers often found in their fields of wheat. Some time ago, I drove through a local park, which had been let grow naturally, instead of being mowed and trimmed. I was sad to see how the thistles had taken over the fields. Yesterday, I drove through the same area, and was thrilled to see the whole field a mass of beautiful purple, with red-winged blackbirds flitting everywhere. Coming closer, I was amazed to see that the beauty came from the thistles in full bloom! A whole list of questions ran through my mind. Does God see beauty where I see ugliness? Is this why Jesus told the story of the weeds in the wheat? Does God have purposes I cannot see?
I was reminded of the story of a class of children on a nature hike. Their teacher told them that God has a purpose for everything He has made. One child asked, "What can be good about poison ivy?" Another quickly replied, "So we will learn there are some things we must keep our cotton-picking hands off of!"
Some people in our lives are like the thistles. We would like to get rid of them because they prickle! But maybe they are beautiful in God's eyes. Maybe we can learn to love them as He does. In the meantime, we will try to "keep our cotton picking hands off" what He has made and what He loves. After all, He loved us when we seemed useless and sinful!
Prayer: Thank you, Father for all that you have made. Teach us to love as you have loved, so that, someday, we will also see the beauty in people and all created things as you see it today. Your Word says that one day we will be like you. Help us, even now, to see what you see in this beautiful world. Amen.