What is your THORN?

2 Corinthians 12:7b-10

I am beginning to understand why God allowed the thorn in Paul’s side, let alone the thorn in my side. You see I have had a thorn in my side for as long as I can remember. I cannot say exactly how the thorn started but this I know. I hated my family life at home with my parents most of the time. I hated my parents fighting, the alcohol, the physical abuse of my mother, the lack of love from my father and the depths of loneliness that I felt.  I have carried that with me for years which no doubt contributed to my sexual addictions that I grew into. I have prayed and prayed and prayed, “God please take these sexual feelings away! Please take away the SSA attraction!” “Please take this love for porn away!”  Please take this wanting to act out with someone away!” But it continued.

That is why I have always been drawn to these scriptures about the thorn in Paul’s side. The exact nature of Paul’s thorn in the flesh is uncertain. There is probably a good reason that we don’t know. I believe that God did not specify on purpose because that thorn could be multiple things in our lives.  That “thorn” we struggle with today could be physical, emotional, financial, interpersonal, or spiritual. What I find interesting is that Paul was able to boast about his thorn (the weaknesses).  I am like … you have got to be kidding Paul.  What are you thinking? But then it hit me … what if I did not have any weaknesses.  What if things were just totally hunky dory. What kind of person would I be like? I will tell you what I would be like.  A stuck-up snob that would be unable to relate to anyone.  That is what Paul was saying. “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” You see, God can use our weaknesses.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard what others are going through or what sin they have committed yet … I can never look down on them.  That is because I have been there.  I understand what pain is because I have felt it for so many years.  It is that humbleness that connects me with others with struggles and in particular those that are going through the similar struggles as me. 

That is the power of the Thorn that God allows in your life. It is not to harm you but to strengthen you such that you literally seek Jesus.  It brings us to our knees so that we look up to Him. It makes us humble and provides strength and wisdom that others in need connect with.  That is exactly why I am here typing out this blog right now.  I have been there; I have had that thorn and guess what … I am all the better for it and you can be too.  Praise God for your weaknesses when it causes you to rely on Him.

by David Hall

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