July 5

2 Corinthians 12:6-9

“Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’” vss. 8-9a

People have long wondered about Paul’s thorn in the flesh and have offered countless possibilities ranging from the plausible (eye issues) to the speculative (doubts or unbelief.) Of course we really don’t know…Paul says only that he considered it a messenger from Satan and that he prayed for God to take it from him. The phrase has made its way into popular usage in our time and it’s not unusual to hear people talk about their own particular “thorn in the flesh.” Generally it refers to some aggravating and irritable condition that we have to deal with in the course of living. Paul never had his thorn removed, a reminder that sometimes we just have to learn to put up with stuff in this world. Paul considered that his weakness made him more dependent on God’s power and grace, and we often find this to be true. Those who have to struggle on their journey seem to develop a deep sense of humility. They simply know that everything they have and everything they are is a gift…and because things haven’t been easy for them they exude appreciation in every moment. Not all their prayers have been answered…their thorns remain an irritant and a bother…but they keep on praising and glorifying God for the grace of life itself…and they’re always welcome companions on the Way.

Thought for the Day: What’s my thorn in the flesh?

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