Thorn in my Flesh

To keep me from becoming 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.” 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. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, NIV

I hesitate to compare anything in my life to this passage of Scripture, because…well, I know my latest thorn has not come as a result of surpassingly great revelations. I also can’t say I delight in it like Paul did to the Corinthians. I’ve always found it interesting and somewhat loving that Paul held back on the specifics of this thorn of his.

But I’ve no doubt that thorns are allowed to come our way in order to test and increase our faith, to prune us, to humble us (as Paul mentioned), to teach us how to abide & mature & delight in our struggles, and often for reasons we will never understand this side of eternity. God’s good that way. And all the time.

Since the end of August, I’ve been having chronic pain. I’ve seen my doctor about it and am doing everything she tells me. It will take some time for healing, if it comes, but it has really started to challenge me emotionally and mentally. This week, I’ve been in the process of submitting the whole deal to the Lord. I’ve asked for complete healing, probably more times than three, and I will be ecstatic if God chooses to do that. But I’ve also prayed that He would help me accept His way and rejoice through it until then, “so that Christ’s power would rest on me.”

I have no less than a dozen friends who live with severe pain and chronic diseases every single day of their lives, and of course I watched my mother suffer much worse me or anyone I know. It always amazes me to reflect on how God has demonstrated His power in their situations, all of them uniquely so (and sometimes messily so). Each one has offered God sacrifices of praise and radiated His glory as they’ve struggled. My prayer is to imitate their faith through my own unique situation.

Something tells me that almost every single person who reads this post has something they’re struggling with today. Maybe God has taught you how to praise Him and cling to Him, grateful with all your heart. Maybe you suffer silently because you know so many others wrestling with much worse. Maybe you’re one who is trying so hard to fix it that you’ve forgotten or refused to surrender your weakness to Strength. Perhaps you’ve given way to despair or bitterness or depression.

Whatever your situation, I know the Truth sets us free, and there’s power through our thorns in the name of Jesus. I hope, alongside me, you’ll submit to the means God has given you to live His life to the full. He’s given us a relationship with Himself which flourishes through praise, prayer, the Word and relationships with others in the Body of Christ, just to name an important few.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. Romans 5:1-5

By His grace, let’s learn to whole-heartedly rejoice in our difficulties, depending on and abiding in the One who is more familiar with pain than any of us could ever comprehend. To say He understands is quite an understatement. His grace is sufficient for me, for you…for us, His beloved children.

“All things work for our good
Though sometimes we don’t see how they could
Struggles that break our hearts in two
Sometimes blind us to the truth
Our Father knows what best for us
His ways are not our own
So when your pathway grows dim
And you just don’t see Him
Remember you’re never alone

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don’t understand
When you don’t see His plan
When you can’t trace His hand
Trust His heart
Trust His heart

He sees the master plan
And He holds our future in His hand
So don’t live as those who have no hope
All our hope is found in Him
We see the present clearly
But He sees the first and the last
And like a tapestry
He’s weaving you and me
To someday be just like Him

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don’t understand
When you don’t see His plan
When you can’t trace His hand
Trust His heart
Trust His heart

He alone is faithful and true
He alone knows what is best for you”

Trust His Heart by Babbie Mason

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6 Responses to Thorn in my Flesh

  1. Joe Pote says:

    LauraLee, I am so sorry to hear of your pain!

    Praying for you, this morning, both for healing and for strength and courage.

    Bless you, my friend!
    Joe Pote recently posted..Covenant Abuse

  2. I am SO not there (rejoicing in suffering) but at least I am not hollering as loudly as I used to… praying for your pain – physical stuff is the most difficult, isn’t it? Low thyroid was easy – pop a pill but breast cancer surgery and 40 inches of incisions? That was a whole ‘nother story…..Be encouraged that this too, shall pass…. e-hugs, Marijo
    Marijo Phelps recently posted..Are You Fussing Around the House?

  3. Joanne Sher says:

    Praying, sweetheart. So need this reminder. Love you.

  4. denise says:

    Covering you with prayers, love, and hugs.
    denise recently posted..Word-Filled Wednesday

  5. Laury says:

    Praying that this passes quickly for you, Laura. <3
    Laury recently posted..Unclench My Fist

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