I could boast, or even brag when I don’t mess up. I could even live as if I never struggled. ….but then that would be my thorn.
It’s no secret… Like Paul, I have a thorn in my flesh…well two…okay, honestly I have three!
I have prayed since the age of ten asking God to remove them but, here I am at age fifty three and they are still poking me.
I really messed up recently, and it was with Hubs on our drive to church …of all things! Nothing like walking in the church doors forcing a smile when you just feel like crying. However, as hard as it was the first thing I did was confess to my prayer partner. Her response was so freeing, she said “don’t let the guilt consume you.” Isn’t this what we all tend to do every time we mess up? And when it consumes us, it stunts our growth. When the guilt thorn is allowed to fester it can paralyze or even destroy us.
As much as I hate my thorns, they are continual reminders that I am weak on my own, but when I allow God to have control over every area of my life, then I am strong. If I didn’t mess up then I wouldn’t draw closer to him. If I didn’t draw closer to him then my faith wouldn’t mature. Thank you Lord that when I mess up I grow up, I feel the excitement of being saved all over again!
We aren’t exactly sure of what Paul struggled with as his thorn, he does mention conceit… he did have an amazing conversion story, and he held great influence amongst others. Here is what he says;
2 Corinthians 12 (NIV)
Paul’s Vision and His Thorn
12 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. 5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6 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, 7 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. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 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. 10 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.
Let’s Sip’n’Chat: Do you have a thorn in your flesh? What or Who are you struggling with? How do you mess up?
Do you struggle with keeping your tongue when you’re angry, voicing your opinion even though you weren’t asked for it or do you spout off then justify yourself as being a realist? Is there a good retail sale callin’ your name and a maxed-out credit card in your wallet? Maybe, you and your spouse had another blow out! Just maybe you like to be in charge, control could be your thorn. Whatever it is, when it happens don’t let guilt consume you and stunt your growth. Each time just draw closer to the Lord.
Join me; as we confess to one another, pray for each other and encourage all to grow spiritually!
“Lord, we all have a thorn, or a few.. in our flesh. If it is not your will to remove them, then please allow us to grow as we learn to give you complete control over these struggles. Give us your strength, power and wisdom not for our own gain but to bring you glory, as we draw closer to you and bring others closer to you. In Jesus name Amen.”