I was weeding the garden the other day, when I grabbed hold of one of those “sticker plants”…. you know, those “seemingly harmless” little plants that have tiny little thorns in them, and they appear harmless and look like just any other weed… and yet they hurt like crazy when you grab hold of one with bare hands.
This one got me pretty good this time, and I’ve had a little piece of that “sticker thorn” stuck in my finger…
While it wasn’t too annoying or concerning at first, as I’ve casually messed with it, trying to work it out, the place has become sore, irritated, and annoying.
Why am I telling you this?
Wanna hear something funny?
I am wondering that too… ?
When the Lord first put it on my heart to write about this “thorn” this morning, I wondered what in the world the lesson might be, what He would compare it to that would suddenly make something “click” within me to give me a deeper understanding.
(I have a feeling I’ll get to that, right about the same time as you do!)
As I am sitting here I heard the phrase “thorn in the flesh” and so I looked up the verse where it came from…
The Thorn in the Flesh
“7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” —2 Corinthians 12:7-10
A “thorn in the flesh” is a phrase used to describe an “annoyance, or trouble, or hardship in one’s life.”
Paul had a “thorn in the flesh”…. and while we don’t exactly know what that thing was in his life, I think we can relate to him, regardless of whatever that “thing” is in our lives that we might be going through, whether we’re dealing with a struggle, a trial, physical pain or sickness, a deep area of weakness, a challenging person or situation that we’re dealing with…
It’s “that thing” that we’ve prayed and asked God to “take away” to “remove” and to “relieve” us from in our lives, that thing we ask Him to “fix”…. and yet it still remains as “a pain in our flesh.” God does not remove that thing, at least at the time we ask Him to remove it.
And then we begin to ask Him, “Why? What’s going on, Lord?” and many times we simply do not receive the understanding we’d like to have.
“Why must I go through this, Lord?”
There are many things in my life that feel like a “thorn in the flesh” and I don’t understand why God has not “removed it” and relieved me of it, and yet I know, that when I am in this place, I must learn to trust Him all the more deeply.
I came across a quote by Derek Prince last night…
“One of the primary lessons I have learned from Job is that we can never understand all of God’s dealings with us or anyone else.
Therefore, do not get discouraged if matters are not clear to you.
What you must do is trust.” —Derek Prince
In the times when God does not “remove the thorn” and “relieve us of the pain” He says to us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Do I truly, deeply trust that no matter what I deal with in this life, no matter what I face… that what He says is true? That His grace is sufficient for me, and that in any weakness, any trial, in any kind of circumstance that I face where I am suffering or weak, that His power will shine through?
He is trustworthy, no matter what I could ever face, no matter how the situation may seem, no matter if I don’t receive the kind of understanding I would prefer to have.
Regardless of what I may face, regardless of whether or not He takes “it away”…. He promises His peace, and that He will redeem it all.
“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God...” —Job 19:25-26
He is trustworthy. ?and I must remember and lean on that truth. ☀️
He is taking us through our very own, unique, one-of-a-kind process, and we can trust Him in the journey, no matter what may come.
“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” —2 Corinthians 12:9–10