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May 21, 2011

THORNS!

We've all heard the saying "a thorn in my side" but do you know where it comes from...the rest of the story? And the promise that comes with the thorn?

The apostle Paul says that a thorn, figuratively, was allowed to remain in his flesh. The purpose: to keep him humble. To remind him that when he succeeds, it is because of God at work. The thorn was allowed because if Paul was in perfect condition, it would have been easy for him to take credit for his ministry, instead of recognizing God as the true source of all power.

Don't think though that Paul didn't beg and plead with God to remove the thorn. But, God, in His grace and wisdom, gave him a promise. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Is there a thorn in your flesh that you have been begging to remove? Is it possible that He has allowed a particular situation in order to show that He is enough for you? I know the circumstances that I pray to God to change...and He hasn't really. I have dropped to my knees in the quiet of my kid's closet, because that was the only quiet place, and asked Him, "How am I supposed to do and say the things You want me to in the middle of this?" In His wisdom He directed me to Paul's thorn. Paul probably said the same thing...You want me to go where and do what with this going on? God's word to Paul applies to me, and to all of us.

So, like Paul, I suck it up, bite my lip, and focus my eyes on God. And in the end, at the end of the day, I know that God was with me. Every step. There is no place He asks us to go, literally and figuratively, that He doesn't go before us and behind us. If you are facing an impossible situation and are using a thorn as an excuse to behave in a less than godly way, stop. Do what you are feeling justified in not doing, and watch God work. If your life was perfect, with no conflicts or thorns, you would miss an opportunity to see God.

Let His grace be sufficient for you. Accept it for yourself, but don't forget to offer it to others. That may be the lesson He is waiting for me to learn.

Debbie Giese

 

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