“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:8 NIV).
God spoke to Paul these words because Paul had a problem and wanted relief. This just wasn’t a small problem, because Paul states that it was a thorn in his flesh and a messenger from Satan. He said it tormented him. He also stated that this was sent to him to keep him humble and not conceited. The Lord told him that he needed to rely on Him in order to handle this problem. The Lord’s grace and power would be sufficient to help him. The part I like the most is that Paul finally says that he will delight in his weakness, because when he is weak, then he is strong. ( Corinthians 12:8-19) You see he knew that through the Lord’s strength he could handle any problem or weakness.
I am very certain that there are those reading this who have weaknesses that they would love for God to take away. I have fibromyalgia and would love to not feel achy all the time, but as much as I have prayed that my “thorn” would be healed it hasn’t been healed. There have been some benefits as now I am very sympathetic to anyone who is suffering from pain. Also, I have learned that if I eat a healthy diet the pain is not as severe. God has helped me cope with this and carry on in spite of achiness. Without His strength I would have given up and just lay in bed. It is hard to put into words the peace I feel when I have surrendered this “thorn” into God’s hands. He is my strength when mine has failed.
If you are struggling with an affliction that you consider a thorn, then I would urge you to surrender it to the Lord completely. Let Him have it, and ask Him to help you cope with it. He will give you the strength that only He can give under the circumstances. Trust me, because I know from experience that He will not fail you. Also, offer support to those other people who are suffering who cross your path. Remember these verses: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 NIV). “I can everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13 NIV).
We know that suffering is not easy, but we do know that you can give us the strength to carry on. Help us to trust you to help us when we have times that we feel burdened with our “thorn”, whatever it may be. Thank you for your love that can fill our very souls and give us peace.
In Jesus’ name,