What’s Your Thorn?

Paul writes how he was given a thorn in his flesh. What’s your thorn? I’m willing to bet we all have one. I’m also convinced that our thorns manifest themselves in our lives in unique ways. I believe we are given specific thorns for specific seasons. Is your thorn depression, an irritating neighbor, a boundary-less relative, splitting headaches, a cancer diagnosis, or the inability to let go of past memories?

“To keep me from being conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-9

There are few verses in the Bible that speak to me so boldly. Paul wrestled with God and God called him to trust even though his “thorn” remained. Far too often I think there’s a notion amidst Christian circles that if you pray hard enough, if you’re obedient in your walk and if you trust enough, God will free you from your pain, He will remove the thorns in life. To that I say an adamant hogwash!

I recall some heartbreaking things I’ve gone through that I believed God could remove at any time, but for one reason or another He didn’t. You know what? My trust in Him grew because He didn’t. Was I in a lot of pain? Yes. Did I wrestle with God, asking Him to liberate me of the pain? Yes. Did He make it all better? Depends on how you define better. I certainly understood this verse more applicably than I had before enduring my painful experience. I also gained a richer understanding of who the authority is in every circumstance.

Next time you moan and groan (perhaps even rightfully so) about that side piercing “thorn” in your life, look up this Corinthians verse to remind yourself of the One who suffered more than just a piercing to His side for you. Remind yourself that HIS power is made perfect in weakness.

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