Wrestling the Thorns
Ever been in a season of life that you just don’t like?
Maybe it’s a new job that isn’t what you expected?
Maybe it’s a season in your child’s life (like the terrible 2’s) that you wonder if you both are going to live through?
Maybe it’s being single or single again?
Maybe it’s a relationship with a family member or friend that for as much as you try to get it right, it’s just all wrong?
Ever been in one of those seasons where you’ve been trying so hard for so long that you just want to quit?
I’ve had my share.
There have been seasons of my life when it has taken everything in me to push through and stick with it.
I didn’t want to. I really didn’t want to.
I’ve literally begged God to fix the situation. To let me give up. To release me from the frustration and the pain. Usually he doesn’t let me, and I find myself reflecting on this verse:
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But 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. 10That 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.
Although my circumstances may be different from Paul’s. They say that Paul’s affliction may have been physical. Maybe for you it is. Maybe it’s metaphorical. But either way, I think the thing that most captures my attention when I read these verses is this part:
8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
I think sometimes God allows us to live in the discomfort of a season or circumstance because He is up to greater work than we can see. It’s for His glory, not ours. It’s for His power and strength to be seen… even if it’s just for us to see.
In a world that encourages us to:
…find the easy way
…play to your strengths
…live your best life, etc.
I think we find ourselves very restless with the thorns. We think we deserve better and so we whine and cry and blame instead of trying to find a way for God’s power to be made perfect in our weakness.
I love this next part of verse 9, Paul says:
“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Did you catch that?
“So that Christ’s power may rest on me.” There’s something very comforting about the idea of God’s power RESTING on me.
In the midst of your thorn, there is comfort if you’ll allow God’s power to be made known through your weakness.
How can you allow God’s power to be seen through your thorn?