I’m going to ask you to bear with me just a little bit here because Paul was sometimes given to partaking in rambling discourse. And while the focus of this blog is part of one of his minor ones it does require read a few extra lines to get to the point of his message.
2 Corinthians 12:6-10 (NIV)
Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say. To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul was telling the church in Corinth that he very well could brag about himself but God had ‘blessed’ him with an infirmity, a ‘Thorn in my flesh’. And that he had pleaded THREE TIMES to the Lord to remove this but yet the Lord had not. Instead the lord had said “My grace is sufficient for you” God knowing that Paul was not going to take this at face value (remember this was the man that had to be smitten by the light in order to get his attention in the first place) went on to say “for my power is made perfect in weakness” A bit later Paul goes on to say that “For when I am weak, then I am strong”.
There have been some discussions here and there about bout various ‘thorns’ in the flesh. Those who had physical, emotional, or other challenges and limitations. And of course we offer prayer when they bring these maladies to our attention, encourage and support as related parts of the body of Christ well should. That’s not a bad thing. Not at all. But I want to point out something here that I always consider when I’m praying for got to free me from some human frailty that I find troubling. What if this thorn I’m asking to be removed from me is an instrument of God’s power and grace. What if this is something God wishes to use as an example of his power. So I adapt my pray a bit and while asking god if it were his will to remove it. And if it isn’t then please use it to glorify him and in place of making that part of me what I might otherwise consider whole, give me peace courage to abide in his will.
So brothers and sisters while you pray for healing, while you seek deliverance from flaws physical or otherwise. Remember that there maybe be a yes in response to that request, there may be pause in the response, and even still this may be something that God is working to use as an instrument of his glory though your life. Then like Paul we can say “for Christ’s sake, I delight in (my) weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Because it isn’t just me (you), it is God working through me (you)! Just as I am!