The ThornTim Savage
7…Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But 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. 10That 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
We don’t know much about the thorn that Paul talks about. Was it a physical condition, a medical problem, depression, a person who made his life miserable, was it a sin that he couldn’t win over? We don’t know and I’m glad for that because we all have our own thorn. Each person I know has their own personal struggles – anger, impatience, lust, physical impairment, financial slavery, self-doubt, sickness, depression, addiction, the list goes on and on and on. But the fact that Paul has an affliction that Christ won’t take away is a good reminder that we all have weaknesses. Our weakness is a reminder that Jesus’ grace is sufficient for us. We don’t need relief from the pain and the struggle, we don’t need everything going our way, we don’t need that promotion or that project, we don’t need to be cured, we don’t need that boyfriend or girlfriend, that new car or house, we don’t need perfect lives. In fact, sometimes, getting those things distracts us in to floating further away from Him.
All too often, I want the solution, I want to be cured, I want that immediate gratification, I am too weak to allow His power to be made perfect in me. I need to be forced to accept the free gift that God has for me, but when that happens I see that nothing fills me or is more satisfying than my complete reliance and faith in my Creator. This is beautifully poetic, but it is also powerfully true, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” If I had everything I needed and wanted, I wouldn’t need God and I NEED God! So, if my weaknesses remind me that all I need is Him, then I, like Paul, rejoice in the insults, hardships, difficulties and persecution. When I am weak, then I am strong.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Forgive me when I want the easy way out. Forgive me when I don’t allow for the pain and struggle to drive me to my knees and closer to You. Lord, I want to rejoice and worship You in the tough times as well as the good. I want a bulletproof faith that, no matter what may come my way, I will follow You without a doubt. And I want that same faith for my kids.
In Jesus name,