But He Giveth More Grace

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
In clearing a flower bed the other day to make room for some fruit trees I learned a salutary lesson. The most difficult to pull up were the rose bushes, because they were more covered with thorns than any of the others. At the same time the rose was the sweetest flower that bloomed in the bed. There was a combination of the most thorns and the sweetest scent.
Ah! thought I, how like many a Christian. With some it is quite easy to be pleasant and amiable, and pleasantness and amiability may be mistaken for the graces of Christ. But when a rough, uncouth man is transformed into a gentle, lowly follower of Jesus, this is indeed grace. When a close, miserly person is generous and open-handed, this is indeed a triumph.
And of all the bushes and plants I rooted up the thorny rose was the one I was most careful to find a new place for.
May this little illustration be an encouragement to some of the Lord's people, who find it difficult to be pleasant and gracious, to think that if grace works in their hearts, the Lord may find His sweetest roses upon His thorniest bushes. We are apt to judge superficially, and see much grace where there is little, and little where there is much. God reads aright, and values the flowers of His own cultivation.
James and John afford a good example of what I mean. The Lord surnamed them " Boanerges," or " Sons of Thunder." From that, and the fact that they united in asking the Lord to command fire to consume the village of the Samaritans, who refused them, we gather that they were rough, impatient, noisy men. Their mother was ambitious, too, in asking for her sons the chief places in the kingdom, and such a mother was likely to have ambitious sons. The fact that they accompanied her when the request was made seems to point to this very clearly.
But see how grace worked. From the Acts of the Apostles we gather that James had developed into a man, content rather to suffer martyrdom for Christ's sake, with no trace of the Boanerges about him. John from his writings is seen to be gentle, tender, deeply affectionate—he had well graduated from the top place in the Lord's school—his head upon his Master's breast—certainly the Boanerges had been rooted out of him, the lion of nature had given place to the lamb of grace.