A Celtic legend has it that a bird called a thorn bird impales itself on a long thorn, then, dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. It sings a song more sweetly than any other creature on the face of this earth.
Life is like an exotic rose, beautiful! However, it is also full of thorns. For the pilgrim on his way to the celestial city, these thorns can be quite painful, uncomfortable and distracting. Sometimes, they are like bombs buried along the railroads of destiny by a terrorist with deadly intent. They can destroy, derail and can leave the pilgrim paralyzed and hopeless. The backbone of faith is shattered and the life giving vitality of joy bleeds out. In a very bad accident, the belief in the love and kindness of the King of the ages dies. Some pilgrims turn back at this point and in such cases lives can be lost. Their hearts filled with bitterness and confusion, they wonder what kind of Creator creates a rose with thorns. The terrorist is a killer of dreams, a burglar that would do his damndest to steal an eternal vision. He makes one conscious of pain so unbearable it seems like a blowtorch setting every tiny cell on fire.
Question is, how does a pilgrim handle the thorns of life? The answer is quite simple. Become a thorn bird! Naturally, the responses to being pierced by a thorn are a gasp of pain and sometimes, swear words but the reaction is different for the thorn bird. Instead of crying while in the grip of a life extinguishing pain, it sings melodiously.
In the face of all thorny life issues, the pilgrim must learn how to sing to the Rose Maker. By default, pilgrims are not designed to live by appreciating the agony of thorns; we are to live acknowledging the beauty of the rose. We live inhaling the sweet, fragrance of its petals. We exist to always celebrate the Rose Maker. We should live everyday mindful of our Maker’s love. It is a love that pulsates with life with an intensity that fills and floods the cup of every yielding heart. It is in so doing that the thorns diminish and the pain disappears. The balm of grace is poured into our wounds, mercy embraces us and like a Phoenix we rise. From the ashes of agony into the heavens, to the wings of the Sun of Righteousness where healing waits. When the pain gets more excruciating, our singing and praise songs become more exquisite, more resonant. We sing louder until the joy of singing drowns our tears. As we sing, we die to the pain and we become flushed with bubbling life. Our victory is tied to our singing. It is the songs that help us onwards towards the realization of our journey, a land where pain never exists. Our destination is a golden city where the beds are made of mind-numbing exotic roses without thorns.
Songs blurs the thorns and exalts the rose. Celebrating our King gives a new perspective to thorns. Thorns can signify hope. As we croon, we remember that The Lover of our souls even though perforated with thorns, went all the way to give us the rose of his affection. The thorns never stopped the strides of Heaven’s Love. He emerged from the thorny bush of pain and death with a crown of victory. PAIN NEVER STOPS THE PILGRIM! THAT IS WHY PILGRIMS ARE CALLED BELIEVERS!!!! They just go on believing for the best!!! We do not go dumb when the pain hits, instead we shout hallelujahs. When we sing we see the One who exchanged a crown of thorns for that of gold. We see the imprints where thorny nails could not keep him down. We perceive the Prince of peace as he battled through a thorny bush to save us, rouse us from the sleep of death. This is more beautiful than the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty because we were sleeping “Uglies”. He came out with bruises, cuts, lacerations and bleeding profusely. If He saved us then, He will save us now! If He beat the thorns then, then we can beat it now. In faith, we keep singing. By praising Him, we declare He is faithful and would come through for us again. We tell the world that He is good and His mercies endure forever. It dawns on us that the thorny path is the road to glorification.
Habakkuk was a thorn bird, life was a thorny jacket that pierced every inch of his being, yet he sang and praised. He knew that ultimately, the garment of pain would be ripped away and he would rise up the high mountains of victory. Paul was another. He had one in his side that almost made him despair of life. However, he did not give up.
As we climb up the hills of the world to the heavenly city of glass and gold. I see many of my pilgrim brothers and sisters. Like me they are scratched and pierced as we make our way through the rose bushes of destiny. As we stare at the ugly projections sticking through our hands, we do not understand why or how such trauma had to become our lot. The most wicked barbs go farther than the limbs and perforate our souls and hearts until we appear to be crushed underneath the weight of it all. However, we are made of sterner stuff; thorns do not stop creations with Zoe written into their genetic code. Despite the befuddlement and bewilderment, we carry on singing. Instead of crying and lamenting, we praise The Ruler of the mountains and sing until our songs become a mighty rushing wave of praise carrying us higher and higher before the Throne of grace. It is here that we receive help for times of need.
In this, we are different from the world, because we praise so much until our Father cannot sit still anymore. The sound of heaven touches earth and He arises and pours out his mercy upon Zion. Glory to God!!!!
COME THIS FRIDAY 14TH NOVEMBER, 2014 TO PLANET ONE MARYLAND LAGOS, AND LET US CELEBRATE THE KING OF KINGS TOGETHER IN RELENTLESS WORSHIP. IT WILL BE 12HRS OF NOTHING BUT CASTING OUR CROWNS BEFORE THE THRONE OF GRACE. FROM 5PM-5AM, WE WILL LET HIS PRAISES FILL THE EARTH IN A RESOUNDING BOOM. HE DESERVES IT ABSOLUTELY! OUR KING REIGNS!!!!!!!!!
FROM THE RISING OF THE SUN UNTIL ITS GOING DOWN, THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE PRAISED!!!
©2014 Ekpo Ezechinyere