A Rose Among Thorns



A few days ago, I went to see my friend Rose in the hospital. After months of health problems, I heard she’d suffered a seizure and was heavily medicated. I had no idea that she’d be unrecognizable. I went into her room and promptly came out thinking they’d given me the wrong room card. The patient I saw looked like a child-size emaciated refugee from Auschwitz, nothing like the Rose I knew. Three times I came out and three times the nurses assured me that the patient was indeed Rose.

So I went in again and starting talking to Rose. She shifted toward me. I talked some more. Her hand opened and I clasped it in mine. And then she spoke. Not words, just some sounds. But I knew. The voice was unmistakable. Rose’s distinctive husky voice.

I stayed a while, praying and sharing Scripture with her. It soothed both of us.

At first glance (and second and third glance), all I saw was a twisted knobby skeletal frame. But when I heard her voice, I knew that sweet, gentle Rose was inside the thorny brambles.




It’s like that with life sometimes.

I see the briars, the thorns, the brambles. I see a dark complex maze of problems and issues. And then, in the midst of it all, I’ll hear God’s unmistakable voice. I’ll sense Him in the midst of it all. And it soothes me. Then I can see past the mess to the message inside.

I’m so grateful for His presence in ALL things. No matter how difficult things appear, He’s there.

I pray you aren’t going through a thorny time right now. But if you are, be assured. He knows, He cares, and He wants to speak to you in the midst of it all. These are the times that grow our faith, when we can’t see for ourselves and so must trust.  Listen for that gentle voice and let Him lead you through.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Cor. 4:16-18

Much love,



Ps – I saw my dear Rose today. She’s making some progress. She was able to briefly communicate coherently today and even joked. With a smile and chuckle, she said,“The Lord’s been good to me. I must have done something right.” As you read this or sometime during your day, would you pray for Rose? There are a myriad of issues, health-wise and otherwise, that need divine intervention. Thank you!

18 thoughts on “A Rose Among Thorns

  1. Robin

    I have known you since we were 15 years old. We shared a couple of classes together, played together and laughed together through high school. I thought that you were pretty awesome back then. Personally witnessing the result of the Refiner’s fire leaves me dumbstruck. How He has touched you, blessing you with the ability to share His truth not only with your life but,using your words both spoken and written, to impact us by encouraging, convicting and giving us hope.

    Thank you Susan for hearing God call you. Thank you for responding to Him. Thank you for your creativity in bringing God and our Jesus so beautifully into our lives.


  2. Elise Daly Parker

    Welcome back, Susan. And thanks for the reminder that not matter what things may look like, God is in there. He never leaves nor forsakes.
    Lord, we do lift up Rose. Thank you that she is healing. Please continue your work in her. Grant her your peace and felt presence today. Give her the hope that you alone can give. Bless her, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

  3. SusanSusan Post author

    Thanks for the beautiful words. So appreciated. What I really appreciate is the search you took to find and reconnect with me. What joy that we are both daughters/sisters of our King.

    Thanks for your prayers for Rose. She has a long, uncertain, and very difficult road ahead.


  4. CharlotteCharlotte

    Just a few minutes ago I sent off a note in the mail to a dear friend suffering with physical problems. I put the same scripture on the card that you have here in your post. Reading it felt like a wink from God:) His word is like ointment on our wounds…soothing and healing. I pray your friend Rose will feel His loving hands holding her close to Himself.

  5. Iris

    I am glad that you were able to visit with your friend Rose. May our Lord continue to heal her.

    It is sometimes hard to stay positive when things are hard, but knowing that He is with us at all times, gives me comfort.

    Thank you for your encouragement.

  6. Nancy DeLuca

    I did the same thing when I went to visit Rose. Was certain I was in the wrong room. She is an inspiration. I know that one other time in her life she was very ill and rebounded. I wouldn’t be surprised if by Gods grace that happend again but of course continuing to pray for our friend Rose. I also think of how God knows my voice even with the millions that cry out to him mine is unique to him…Thanks Susan always love to hear your slant on things

  7. SusanSusan

    Thank you all for your comments and prayers.

    The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; …The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:14&16

    Seeing Rose today was a blessing. The progress made in two days is remarkable. She still has a long road ahead, and was rather confused about things, but prayer is a mighty weapon in the hands of His people. Reading Jesus Calling today was amazing. I shared it with Rose. “I am your strength and shield… I provide the strength you need…. I am your Shield. But unlike inanimate armor, I am always alert and active…” It goes on, full of encouragement and power.

    Blessings to you all,

  8. Sandy Marsh

    You know I will be praying, Susan! My heart really goes out to you both.

    I need some advice and want to ask you while I’m thinking of it. Would you please tell me what challenges you faced when you turned your life over to Christ? I understand that you were raised Jewish. The reason I’m asking is because I have 2 friends who are Jewish yet they are both on very secular, broken paths. One of them, however, has gravitated towards our campus ministry. I can sense that God is working in Him already.

    Feel free to email me your response: littlemissscooter@gmail.com


  9. Rhonda Schrock

    My heart goes out to your sweet suffering friend. It sounds like her name just fits her! Oh, I pray the Gentle Shepherd keeps His hand on her and that healing will flow.

    This is a beautiful post about some difficult issues, Susan. Life in a fallen world is just tough sometimes!

    Happy weekend, my friend,


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