It was a beautiful day on Saturday, and I managed to get all of my roses pruned. My dear husband got the clippers and a pair of garden gloves out of the shed for me. What a sweetie!
I usually don’t wear garden gloves when I prune the roses or for any other type of yard work. The reason is that I have fairly long fingers and most garden gloves don’t fit me very well. If the fingers are long enough, the base of the glove is too big. If the glove fits my hand okay, the fingers are too short. But because my husband got them out for me, I decided to go ahead and wear them.
I learned something from wearing those gloves. In my blog on Saturday I wrote that getting scratched by the thorns when pruning roses was inevitable, but I learned that I was wrong. Wearing the gloves and long sleeves, I didn’t get a single scratch!
This got me thinking more about what I wrote on Saturday about having to deal with the thorns of life if you wanted to experience the beauty of the roses of life. I realized that although there may be thorns or worries in life, with the proper protection the injury they might cause is not inevitable.
This train of thought led me to one of my favorite passages of scripture from Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:10-18.
Life is full of challenges and difficulties, and one can easily be overcome by thorns and worries. But if we put on the full armor of God as protection against the thorns, we can make it through without any serious spiritual injury. The key elements of this armor are truth, the righteousness of Christ, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the word of God, and prayer. Just as my dear husband brought me garden gloves to prune the roses, our dear Father in Heaven has given us the armor we need to navigate the thorns of life. We just have to take a moment each day to put it on. Are you wearing your armor today?