I have totally enjoyed the devotional book “Streams in the Desert” this year. (and I highly recommend it to all of you!) It was a gift from my mom as I left for my first semester and it has been marvelous. 

As I read a page in late December, only days after my favorite girl Phoebe passed away, I stopped when I read “I have never thanked thee for my thorn“… my thoughts went exactly like this, “Really? Of course I haven’t thanked God for my thorn. Why would I?! I thank Him for the good things…” 
But… I am supposed to be thankful for the “bad” things in my life, too. I’m supposed to be thankful for a broken heart and empty place on the couch where my baby always laid.. for disordered eating.. for loneliness… This quiet time brought me back to Earth. What we see as bad, the Lord sees as blessings. He is forcing us to lean on Him.
I am never promised another day. I am never promised anything at all. But my Rock and my Redeemer provides. When I am at my lowest, He only draws nearer. -What a marvelous truth!!

The Bible says, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:10).” For some reason, I have read this verse over and over yet it never sunk in until I read it in my devotion…
The literal translation of this verse gives a startling emphasis to it, and makes it speak for itself with an intense force that we have probably never realized. (I know I hadn’t!!) “Therefore I take pleasure in being without strength, in insults, in being pinched, in being chased about, in being cooped up in a corner for Christ’s sake; for when I am without strength, then am I dynamite.” Streams in the Desert

George Matheson, the well-known blind preacher of Scotland, said: 

“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. 
I have been looking forward to a world where I shall get compensation for my cross; but I have never thought of my cross as itself a present glory.
Teach me the glory of my cross; 
teach me the value of my thorn. “

Can we all dare to pray genuinely, “Thank you, oh Lord, for the things that trouble me.. Thank you for the things I feel are bringing me down. Just, thank you.” ??
It’s hard. Really hard… but also mind changing and maybe life changing.

Think about it one more way… The Sidewalk Prophets sing in “You Love Me Anyway,”
I am the thorn in Your crown, but you love me anyway.” Jesus Christ LOVED the things that caused him dire pain as he hung on a cross for us.

Thankful He cares to refine me,

What is trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise? -“Blessings” Laura Story