Monday, December 3, 2012

Thorn in our flesh

In the Bible we find the old familiar story of Paul and how he was given a "thorn in flesh as a messenger of Satan to buffet him lest he be exalted above measure." Several times he pleaded with God to remove this so called thorn. I don't know if God answered Him each of the three times he pleaded with Him but what He did finally answer put an end to the pleading.
God told him in 2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficent for you. For My strength is made perfect in weakness." It was an answer that was good enough for Paul and it needs to be good enough for us. It doesn't matter what Paul's thorn was nor does it matter what we would consider our thorn in flesh. Big or small, been there the longest or the shortest amount of time doesn't matter. What matters is the fact that God's grace is sufficent for us.
In preparing for rain (an answer to my prayer) as I've been talking about one of the best way I can do that is to work on my relationship with God. To live my faith and act it out in my attitude. I need to stay strong in the Lord, not in myself. Believe it or not the thorn in our flesh is there for God's use and our benefit. It's used to get our attention, to humble us, to teach us how to trust, follow, and have faith in God.  Too often we thank God for the roses (good things, blessings, etc) but we don't thank Him for the thorns when we really should. It's the thorns not the roses that do so much for us in spite of the pain they can cause and the struggles they create.

The thorns create storms in our lives and we need to use these moments for the betterment of our person instead of for an opportunity to grumble. Storms show us where the lose shutters are, the missing shingles, and the other things needed to be corrected before the next big storm hits.

We need to make God enough in our lives. We need to know and accept the fact that He is sufficent. In order to do so we need to come to the end of ourselves and surrender all we have to Him. Surrender our pain, our loneliness, our attitude, our time, efforts, and whatever else that has our fingerprints all over it.

God is sufficent. We need to believe that and live it out daily. In preparation for my rain (answer to my prayer) I need to keep my focus on God and know that He will come through for me. It may not be the answer I'm seeking but it will be sufficent to what God wants in my life and in the life of the individuals around me.

 Praise the Lord the thorn God has inflicted in our flesh is not there for our torture but for our teaching. Self-inflicted thorns are a totally different story, a totally different outcome.

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