A few years ago, I sat—did I say “sat?”—I meant, I was stuck in front of a little girl and her daddy on an airplane. We’d been glued to the tarmac for 45 minutes when we were told for the fourth time that we were delayed again. Ugh.
I blew out a frustrated breath and fumed about everything that was wrong with this airline. I just knew that the past 45 minutes would turn into another 45 minutes and then into four hours and five hours and then … deep breath … I’d miss my connection, be stuck in Chicago and, well, that’s enough. You get the idea. I was not a happy woman.
Research shows that women cry anywhere between 30 and 64 times a year. That means most of us girls shed tears at least twice a month and some of us cry about every five days!
Happy tears. Sad tears. Angry tears. We cry for all sorts of reasons.
Some of us are “Tricklers.” You know, we have an occasional tear drip from the eye, but it’s usually quick, controlled, and rare.
And, then there are the “Niagaras” among us! Do I even need to explain? A gushing flood of liquid emotion pours from both eyes at a moment’s notice! Then the waterfall lasts much longer than that one moment!
Sometimes it takes a thorn to show us how healing is just not enough.
We all have thorns. And I’m not talking about the kind that show up on roses in your garden! I’m talking about the kind of thorns that show up in our lives. Situations that hurt. Circumstances that are hard. Difficult things in our lives that don’t seem to come or go away on our timetables.
For me, blindness is a never-ending, constantly-challenging, fatigue-inducing thorn. I can’t deny it: It hurts. I’ve often longed—and prayed—for it to go away. It hasn’t yet.
You got thorns. I got thorns. All God’s girls got thorns!
This whole “thorn” concept came from the apostle Paul. Paul asked God to remove what he called his “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:8). He evidently struggled with some difficult circumstance that he really wanted changed.
Sometimes when hard things come into our lives, they take the best from us. Long lasting trials can drain us and wear us out. Our initial energy and faith gets slowly depleted until we find ourselves flat, hopeless and defeated. All that I can! attitude gets replaced with I can’t and I don’t want to apathy.
When a parent is ill for a long time, it can take the best from us. When a teenager is in full blown rebellion, it can take the best from us. When we lose a job, or our spouse does; when we deal with a chronic illness or are stuck in what feels like a dead end job or relationship – all of that can take the best from us.
I get asked all the time what the hardest thing about being blind is. People naturally assume it’s not being able to drive or read or… well, there are a million things that are really hard about being blind. Bruises. Isolation. Dependence. Those are some things about blindness that are really, really hard. But, then there’s having to constantly manage my frustration with being slow at tasks or even flat-out unable to do something without help.