instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
....and then i came across that verse, and i remember feeling a huge sense of hope, an assurance that whatever that "thorn" is, God would always grow redemption in that very spot. God would always use that area of my life - whether it's the thorn of my childhood, the thorn of my trials, or the thorn of my sin - to bring a flourishing, redemptive work that couldn't be explained apart from His ability to bring abundant goodness out of pain. life out of death. beauty out of ashes. trees out of thorns.
i love that picture! the very place, the very hurt, that seems the furthest from good or growth, is the very place that God will cause something stunning to flourish, because He loves us and wants us to live forever with Him. His love is overwhelming, isn't it?
whatever thorn you're dealing with today, remember that it's not in vain. that thorn is the perfect place for God to work wonders and bring about beauty.
p.s. please take a few minutes to read the entire chapter of isaiah 55 - it's packed with grace and promises and encouragement and inspiration for our journeys... love you guys!