Life without thorns seems like it would be a pleasant one. I believe God made thorns, but what purpose could they possible serve?
Thorns protect the stem of a plant and it’s important parts from being eaten or gnawed down by predators. The sharp thorns discourage animals from trying to eat the tender leaves or blossoms that grow near the thorns. Roses come to mind as well as blackberries.
I once had two dogs, Spanky and Spud, who would go blackberry picking with us. They would get under the briars and eat the ripe berries, whining and crying the whole time because of the thorns. I don’t know if other dogs do this or not, but I was always thankful that their presence would scare snakes away from the briars where we were picking.
Thorns also help plants reproduce when parts of the stem break off and the thorn sticks in the animals fur, who then carries the plant part off to a new destination where a new plant might grow.
I love roses, but I dread the thorns. My friend, Trish, and I found a riverbank full of wild roses last fall. They were gorgeous. We had the bright idea to cut some stems and try to get a start of roses from them. The little stems on those beautiful flowers were covered with so many thorns, there was no place to pick them or hold them without getting fingers full of tiny thorns.
In the same way that thorns protect a plant, they protect us in a way from getting too comfortable with our lives and taking everything for granted. Every life has a few thorny patches along the way. If it were not for them, we probably wouldn’t appreciate the thorn free places quite as much.
The thorny places in our lives challenge us and create opportunities for growth and development. Sometimes the thorns are the very things that cause us to call out to God for his help and deliverance. I’m thankful for the sweet fruit of blackberries and the beauty of roses, and even for the thorns that make us treasure them more.