God's Love, Acrylic on canvas, Marcia Carole

I have a friend who struggles with sensing God's love. I get that, but I also trust God's love, more and more, even when I don't sense it. However, when I check and see the lump lingering to remain a part of me, I can waver in my steadfast sensing. This is my thorn, so to speak, that has kept me closer than ever to my Lord. Thorny, dark moments can creep in like clouds from a brooding storm. Then I tear up and grope spritually for His hand.

The American way is to cut off thorn-like problems, or tumors. Fast. People ask me when I am having surgery, and I struggle to tell them. Maybe never. (Miracles happen.) The doctor won't give me an answer for that question. Maybe the carrots and kale will strengthen my body, along with the Arimidex. No matter what, the "thorn" of cancer is keeping me close to Jesus and is taking a long stretch of time in my story.

A fellow believer, Steve Saint, who is living through a spinal cord injury, has shared this poem in a YouTube update on his healing progress, and it really blessed me today. Maybe it will bless you if you are struggling with a thorny issue as well. I pray we each can, very intimately, sense God's love during the hardest parts of our stories.

"I stood, a mendicant of God, before His royal throne
and begged Him for one priceless gift, which I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart I cried,
'But Lord, this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange and hurtful gift which Thou hast given me.'
He said, 'My child, I give good gifts. I gave My best to thee.'
I took it home. And though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,
as long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace:
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face."
-- Anonymous

The Youtube update can be found here:Steve Saint Update

"Let him who walks in the dark and has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on His God" (Is. 50:10)