I posed the following question to my sister recently: “Do you ever wonder what “thorn” plagued Paul?”
Was it a health ailment? Financial stress? Persecution?
Why do you suppose Paul never tells us what it is? Hard to say, but he admits to us in 2 Corinthians that he was given this “thorn” so he wouldn’t become conceited. That got me thinking. Does God allow things in our lives to rein us in? To stop us from going our own way and not relying on Him when we should?
Paul confesses to asking God to remove his thorn of the flesh, but it’s never taken away. See the passage below.
2 Corinthians 12:6-10 (NIV)
Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given 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.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
What are our thorns? Are they health-related, financial, relationships? Mine is migraines. I suffer from them and have tried almost everything to rein them in but without success. I’ve asked God to take them away but for some reason, they persist.
What does God teach us with our thorns? TRUST. He is in control, not us. Just like Paul says, when we are weak, then we’re strong.
I hold on to that promise and that God’s grace is sufficient for me.
What is your thorn of the flesh? Share with us so we can all pray for each other.
From my Playlist
This song has been on my playlist a lot. I rejoice in the fact that there’s still power in THE BLOOD.
Power in the Blood – sung here by Amy Grant