A thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:7
My friend and I had been talking about the way adversity forces us to trust God. “I’ve lived twenty years with a thorn in the flesh,” my friend remarked. “How do I learn dependence now that the thorn is out?” We agreed that pride and fleshly energy take over so easily when the need to depend is removed. If we feel strong and confident apart from God – watch out!
Yet all of life will not necessarily be one long chapter of accidents. What about the times “the thorn” is removed or we find ourselves between thorns? To depend even when the sun shines is a real test of maturity. It helps to pray a lot. Prayer gives us a sense of our inadequacy at all times and this helps us lean on the Lord.
To be reminded of His Person reminds me of my person, and that will surely help me to depend! Isaiah, seeing God high and lifted up, saw himself low and cast down (see Is. 6)! A season of prayer will help us to stop saying “Wow is me” and make sure we say “Woe is me”! Physical thorns can be a real problem, but the thorn of selfishness will be in our fleshly nature until the day we die, and should keep us in constant dependence on the Spirit of God to make good His strength in our weakness. This way we will GLORY IN HIS POWER and not in our own strength.
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