"And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." ( 2 Corinthians 12:9)
Amid the loud voices of the world crying, “Empowerment, inner strength, self-help”, I heard a soft yet serene Voice with the call to boast.
I wondered, “Boast, again boast?”
The Voice replied, “Yes boast, boast not in your strength, but in your thorn.”
“Hmm, I have a thorn, I can boast.” I said.
My thorn is subtle, I can hide it well with a simple smile.
Fear, pressure, and that ever-consuming desire to control my life.
Call it whatever, anxiety or unbelief, but the stress is real.
Again, I acknowledged, “I have a thorn, I can boast. But just let me be clear, what my thorn really means? Why do I have it?”
Then I heard the Voice respond, “It means significance. See Paul’s thorn was meant to keep him from exalting above measure by the abundance of his vision. Look at your thorn, it means significance. There never is a need to balance when there is no weight in the scale. Even devil doesn’t waste his time where there is nothing significant.”
The Voice implored, “Look deep into your thorn, you are sure to find significance of your life.”
I reluctantly respond, “Very well, but it’s hard to bear, this thorn at times feels like a punching bag of devil, himself.”
The Voice with unchanging melody continued, “Look, even for Paul it seemed like a messenger of devil. Be assured of one truth, even Job’s trials came with My approval. What devil means for destruction is mostly My tool to reveal unending grace, My amazing love.”
With my confused voice I dared to question, “I prayed and prayed, yet I see no change!”
The Voice with perfect wisdom whispered into my pain, “My grace is enough, and that’s all you need.”
One final thing, I continued to engage, “What am I to do with this weakness of mine?”
Without any rage the Voice declared, “Take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for My sake. For when you are weak, it is then you are indeed strong.”
So, I hold tight my thorn and seek to know little bit more. Beauty of my unique scars, the balance it holds, how it grounds me deep in the abyss of His love.
What more can I say, I will boast more in my thorn! Just like Paul. It definitely seems when I am most weak, its then I am strong.
Now my friend, do you have thorn, subtle or obvious, seasonal or always, humiliating or haunting?
Do you have a such a thorn?
Now hold it tight, cease to be shamed, boast in it my friend. It is right there your significance relies, confirmation of your strength, magnificent of His grace.
Know your thorn, and boast in it dear. For the truth shall remain, “His grace is ENOUGH!”