When you find 'thorns' in your path!

(James Smith, "Daily Bible Readings for the Lord's Household")

"I will hedge up your way with thorns!" Hosea 2:6

These words are spoken to the backslider; they flow from God's love, and indicate painful opposition in the path of spiritual declension. It is a fearful thing to be allowed to choose, and pursue our own way — without divine obstruction!

But if God loves us — He will oppose us, when we are found in forbidden paths!

He will lay the 'thorns' in our way!

He will wound us — in order to restore us!

The wounded child will go home for healing — for the sense of pain and danger will humble its proud and haughty spirit.

Beloved, when you find 'thorns' in your path, just stop and ask,
"Am I in the right road?
 Is this the true pilgrim's path?
 Does this way lead to my Father's house?"

For the 'thorns' are intended to . . .
  awaken inquiry,
  produce reflection, and
  bring to repentance.

We often see and feel the thorns — but we do not see the hand that laid them in our path. Perhaps we do not dream that it is our heavenly Father — but are ready to say, "An enemy has done this!"

These thorns are . . .
  sometimes bodily afflictions,
  sometimes losses and crosses, and
  sometimes opposition from worldly men.

But whatever may be the nature of the thorns — our Father Himself laid them in our path!

"I will hedge up your way with thorns!"
Hosea 2:6