“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave 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 of my weaknesses, so that lthe 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 12:7
Yesterday, I was out cleaning up the yard after some rather heavy rains here in the desert Southwest. Our Palo Brea tree was quite prolific spreading seed pods all over our yard. The rain encouraged these seeds in their sprouting mini Palo Breas everywhere. As I worked at pulling out 60-70 deep-rooted seedlings, I was recalling the time when I got a rather large torn imbedded in my left ring finger. After two hand surgeries, that nasty, painfull “thorn in the flesh” was removed. This portion of Scripture in 2 Corninthians came to my mind,
and I love Jill Brisco’s commentary on this:
|“My friend and I had been talking about the way adversity forces us to trust God. “I’ve lived twenty years with a thorn in the flesh,” my friend remarked. “How do I learn dependence now that the thorn is out?” We agreed that pride and fleshly energy take over so easily when the need to depend is removed. If we feel strong and confident apart from God—watch out!Yet all of life will not necessarily be one long chapter of accidents. What about the times “the thorn” is removed or we find ourselves between thorns? To depend even when the sun shines is a real test of maturity. It helps to pray a lot. Prayer gives us a sense of our inadequacy at all times and this helps us lean on the Lord.To be reminded of his Person reminds me of my person, and that will surely help me to depend! Isaiah, seeing God high and lifted up, saw himself low and cast down (Isaiah 6). A season of prayer will help us to stop saying “Wow is me” and make sure we say “Woe is me”! Physical thorns can be in our fleshly nature until the day we die and should keep us in constant dependence on the Spirit of God to make good his strength in our weakness. This way we will glory in his power and not in our own strength.”|
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Heavenly Father, Lord, I am on my knees thinking of Your Word to me today. How many times I have said to You, “If only this torn was removed, I could….” But I know that You are not as interested my happiness and usefullness as You are in developing my character. I admit that time when the “sun does shine,” I find myself farther and farther from You. The chronic infirmities of one type or another, annoyances, the troubles of life, keep me on my knees and closer to You. I confess that I find it difficult to “glory in my infirmities'” and struggle to be “content in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.” Help me, Lord, to learn to lean fully on You and draw from Your Power. In Jesus Name and for His sake, Amen.