What is it, a thorn in the flesh? What causes my reaction to be so negative, so selfish? Is it a wounded heart, a torn soul, a wrong thought pattern? How is it I can love Jesus yet still wound the ones He calls me to love?
I know the scriptures, I know His word and what He commands, how He loves me, so why do I wound the people in my life with my abrupt answers, my short replies.
I had just sat down to read, when she came home, oh hear the attitude in me how rotten to the core. Just for a day to be alone to do nothing; to read, to hear, to see; that’s all my heart desired yet distraction came to pull me away. What will it take for me to really be able to unplug, to stop what the world’s whirlwind of life calls me to do and to sit with the one I love first, before doing all the things that need to be done. I had gotten everything done and ready to go back to work first, rather than taking leisure first so what happened then to the time. It was gone and an unexpected arrival caused me to put the book down and finish what work was left to do. Stolen moments interrupted, stopped, sidetracked for good things but not necessary at the time.
Was it the words she spoke that left a thorn that rubs and irritates when she is present or is it a fault with in me that stirs up when not alone. Oh Lord change me, heal me so I can respond like you do to interruptions. I know you had many in your journey but still you let grace have the last word, grace and mercy always working through you to say truth with gentleness, to do what needs to be done in Love. No anger or entitlement or self-righteousness, not demanding or taking only giving, giving love at all times no matter what.
Thorns, do they cause such division and strong emotions that walls are built and bridges pulled up so people go away? Thorns of words and actions that penetrate our hearts and cause pain, anger, even when we think we have forgiven is it not so, how do we remove them if we have said we forgive and then served the person to make it so; what is the root that keeps the thorn growing in our hearts poisoning our minds and relationships so walls are built and gates are shut?
How I have prayed as Paul did, “Oh Lord, remove the thorn, teach me how to live a free life of Love, unconditionally for all people.”
Paul asked 3 times to have the thorn in his flesh removed. Many debate what this thorn was, in Hebrew culture a thorn in the flesh referred to people. Looking at the wording of the scripture, the thorn in the flesh was a messenger of Satan intent upon tormenting and harassing Paul. Paul asks God to remove it that IT might leave him.
In 2 Corinthians 12 we read (Amplified version):
Because of the surpassing greatness and extraordinary nature of the revelations, (which I received from God), for this reason, to keep me from thinking of myself as important, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, to torment and harass me–to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me; but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you (My loving-kindness and My mercy are more than enough–always available–regardless of the situation): for my power is being perfected (and is completed and shows itself most effectively) in (your) weakness.”
Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ (may completely enfold me and ) may dwell in me. So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak (in human strength), then I am strong (truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength)
New Living Translation :
“If I wanted to boast I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So, to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
So now I am glad to boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions and troubles I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
So in light of this, God will not always change our circumstances or remove the “thorn” but He will be what we need. He will give us the grace to overcome and we will change to become more like Him in love as we continue to follow Him, obey Him and love Him.