2 Corinthians 12:1-10
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Paul's words in Second Corinthians chapter 12 verses 7 through 10 about the thorn in Paul's flesh are so powerful for each of us to consider for our lives today as well! "But to keep me from getting puffed up, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ's good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." Biblical commentaries can basically all agree that we do not know what Paul's "thorn" was. There is some interesting speculation out there. Some think that the thorn is Paul's flesh was perhaps something that literally affected his flesh - a health issue of some sort. Some think it could have been a disease of the eyes, epilepsy, or even malaria. Whatever the thorn was, it was something that affected him very seriously. And it kept Paul humble in the midst of his incredible ministry. Why do you suppose that Paul was given a thorn in his flesh? Do you suppose you or I might have thorns in our flesh today? What might those thorns be in your life today? And why might those thorns be there? Is there anything you can learn from Paul about your thorns? Can you learn to live with the thorn in your flesh realizing that God's power in your life actually works strongest when you are weak? Do you believe that God's power can actually work through the thorn in your flesh for God's glory? Will you accept where you are weak, so that in that area of your life God will be strong?
Continuing along this point about having a thorn in our flesh. I do think this is a powerful thing for each of us to really meditate upon. I believe that all of us have some sort of thorn in our flesh! (or we will...) All of us are human with various frailties. None of us are Superman or Wonderwoman. We will all grow older - God-willing - and will eventually have health issues that will eventually lead to our death. As Christians we have eternal life after death where all of our thorns will be removed forever! But this side of heaven we will have thorns in our flesh. Perhaps many thorns. But, this is the beauty of the thorns... if we will accept them and give them over to God, God's power will work in our weakness! If we will give all that we have over to God - the good, the bad, and the ugly, God will show up and move through it. It's tough I know to really put this into practice - if we lose a loved one, or get diagnosed with a serious illness, or are struggling with an addiction, we can often think "where is God in this??" Well, yes, where is He? Have you opened the door to let Him in the room of that weakness? Will you let his power in?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Second Corinthians titled "Boasting in our Weakness" is at this link.
Worship Video: Today's readings reminded me of Britt Nicole's song "Walk on The Water:"
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