To keep me from being conceited…there was given me a thorn in my flesh. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 2:12
Our friend Job comes to know God better and his suffering ceases as Paul picks up the theme.
My sense is that Paul is humbled if not embarrassed by this “thorn in my flesh” as he never calls it by name. I can relate.
I have a thorn in my flesh. I have no idea how it compares to Paul’s. It is my thorn and it festers , frustrates and hurts more than I care to admit. I am not moving “from victory to victory” here. There is no pride in bearing it. I am not thankful for it and my attitude stinks. I want it gone…yesterday.
But this I know, ”My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.” This is the truth, no matter how I feel about it or myself.
Lord, I thank you for your grace and power at work in my life. I cling to it. Thank you that you forgive and redeem. You cause me to look up and enjoy your presence and forget that which has made me drag my feet. I love you and remain amazed by your grace. Amen
3 responses to “Exodus 24; John 3; Job 42; II Corinthians 2:12”
Suffering…going through the messgives meaning to all that we read, doesn’t it. Yet we are not free to wallow in misery; God calls us to not only bear these trials and tribulations with grace, but to continue serving and praising Him. This kind of witnessing is humbling: “Oh, by the way, I have this huge, noticeable zit on my nose, but don’t look at that while I speak.” Well, Paul wasn’t talking about something that was going to disappear in a week or two, and having a noticeable weakness while preaching God’s love and blessings despite the obvious problem can be a challange for the one speaking and the ones listening. That is why grace is so very important. Not just to excuse our blemishes, but to remind us that we are not better at witnessing or preaching or encouraging or teaching anyone the things of God because of our perfection. Rather it is our imperfections that qualify us because they negate our human efforts and baffle our limited understanding. Only then can we get out of the way of the Holy Spirit’s perfect work to open the eyes of man to the pure Gospel.
Thanks for your rich comments! Thank God for the mystery of his grace and power in our lives.
Great thoughts here, and I also appreciate the rich feedback. I wonder if we all carry around an affliction that is noticeable to others? I sometimes suspect I do a fair job of covering it up, but I am well aware of its existence.