June 24, 2019
2 Corinthians 12:9a; But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Weakness. Ugh. I don’t even like to write the word.
If you are anything like me, you have an aversion to weakness. And probably spend a lot of time concealing any and all hints of weakness from the watching world. But why? We do this because to be weak in our world is thought to be undesirable. Unlovely. And frankly, uncouth.
Our scripture verse is the Lord’s response to Paul pleading to have the thorn in his flesh removed. And although we don’t know what he suffered from, we do know the thorn was a painful reminder of weakness.
This is a common dilemma because we all have thorns. They come in different shapes and sizes, but the fact remains, each one of us bears physical, mental, and emotional thorns. Yes, even spiritual thorns exist and can cut to the core like nothing else.
Some thorns penetrate just below the surface, while others pierce to the deepest places of our soul. Regardless of the weight they carry, they are a nuisance and cause anxiety, frustration, and shame. They bully and bite at our heels causing us to walk with a limp albeit our best efforts to pretend otherwise.
I bet if I asked you right now to name your thorns, you could pinpoint them with such accuracy and speed, it would make my head spin. I am no different. I have them and they hurt. And they make me feel weak.
Yet, God has a divine plan for our weakness because like it or not, there’s a process to His purpose. An intentional exchange that requires just enough room to cultivate the power He wants to reveal in and through us. For His power is made perfect in our weakness.
The rose is a great example. Rose bushes have thorns; thorns have a purpose—weapons fit for their work. They protect from a world bent on destruction. Only when the thorn fulfills its purpose of protection, is the beauty of the rose unearthed in the delicate bloom of colorful petals. This is the divine order of God’s grace—power in the midst of weakness. It is also a beautiful revelation of blessing.
There are many great and wonderful ways the LORD works, and we can’t possibly comprehend them. This mystery of suffering is one of them. It is more than we can unpack here, but knowing God is in complete control, even of our thorns, gives me peace. And hope. And the ability to hang on until I can see the beauty He is producing through it.
So hang on dear friend. Allow your thorns to do their work and protect the beauty God wants to unearth in you.
Lord God, take the pain of the thorns I bear and use them for your good work and good purposes. Protect me as I grow in the process of your powerful love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Hugs for a great week and remember, you are not alone. Be blessed as God reveals the blessing of your thorn.