The time in my life had been extremely difficult, and my body was physically and severely responding to stress. A friend stopped by my house to share a gift of encouragement. With it came this quote:
Note this bit of gorse bush. The whole year round the thorn has been hardening and sharpening. Spring comes. The thorn does not drop off and it does not soften. There it is, as uncompromising as ever; but halfway up appear two brown furry balls, mere specks at first, that break at last—straight out of last year’s thorn—into a blaze of fragrant golden glory! —Lilas Trotter
My friend offered these words with a single hyacinth bulb and a container for growing it. She wrote, “This is not a bit of gorse bush, yet is a bit of spring fragrance for the winter. Wishing you a joy-filled day.”
Her words offered hope that my difficult season would one day bring about a blaze of fragrant glory. After receiving the gift and quote, I pictured the thorns of my life transformed and bursting with a fragrance of life and fullness.
That’s what Jesus was talking about when he said, “I have come that you might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10 NIV). The word Jesus used for “life” was not the Greek word bios; it was zoe. He was inviting me out of daily mere existence to a life lived in His presence with passion and vitality.
That was what I longed for with my hands outstretched and whispered pleas. I’m on the other side of the healing He brought, but this continues to be my prayer: Jesus, would your fullness of life burst within me and flow through all I do.
Imagine taking His invitation to live an energetic zoe life into the ways we lead and serve others, into how we offer encouragement in our relationships and conversations, into how we take care of ourselves, into all our choices, goals, and dreams.
That’s living. That’s thorns to a blaze of fragrant glory.