Let me introduce two amazing people to you: Miracle Man Jim and Weak Flea Kathryn—as they cheerfully call themselves.
In spite of Jim’s battle with cancer and Kathryn’s pain from the effects of childhood polio, their letters are sprinkled with the words exciting, marvelous, innumerable blessings, golden opportunities, peace, joy. “We celebrate something every day,” Kathryn recently wrote.
Jim and Kathryn are illustrations of a poster I once saw that bore an exquisite rose with the caption: “Some people complain that roses have thorns; others rejoice that thorns have roses.”
The apostle Paul’s letter to the struggling group of believers in Philippi was written while he was imprisoned in Rome. Yet he was able to encourage them to “rejoice in the Lord always” (4:4), and to meditate on what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy (v.8). Paul didn’t tell them to deny their worries, but to give them to God through prayer and supplication (v.6).
We all need to become avid rose gardeners—hunting for buds of beauty within our thorny circumstances. It’s a sure cure for complaining.
Amid the thorny trials of life
God's buds of beauty grow;
If we'll rejoice and not complain,
His peace and love we'll know. —Sper
Rather than complain about the thorns on roses, be thankful for the roses among thorns.