And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me - a messenger of Satan - to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing, I pleaded with The Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My Grace is sufficient for you, for My Strength is made perfect in weakness." ~ Apostle Paul, as recorded in 2 Cor. 12:7-9We have all heard sermons on this portion of Scripture. And what I have been taught is that the "thorn in the flesh" is sickness or disease. That is not what these verses allude to. The word "flesh" means "human nature". A thorn in our human nature.
Think of how we physically and emotionally react when we get stuck with a thorn. It hurts. It pricks. It annoys us. It can get infected. And it continues to annoy, prick, and hurt us until we get that thing out of our flesh.
And what else has that same affect on us?
Other human beings. Some people truly are like a thorn stuck in your thumb.
The LORD God Almighty says, as recorded in Judges 2:2-3:
And you shall make no Covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars. But, you have not obeyed My Voice. Why have you done this? Therefore, I also said, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall be thorns in your side.Spouses. Family. Co-workers. Neighbors. Those who sit alongside us on Sunday mornings. People. Relationships. That is the thorn in our sides or flesh - the annoyance and pricking to our human nature.
And most of the time, these "thorns" show us exactly how WE are NOT Christ-like. And that is what we have to deal with - US. Not them. God allows the "thorns" for a reason. Satan buffets us (which means he pounds, pounds, pounds us) through certain people in our lives. And God desires us to be Christ-like. Our reactions to what has been said or done shows us something about
ourselves, not just about them.
What better way to bring about Christ-likeness in us than to allow the "thorns" to keep buffeting us until we deal with ourselves. Our Father's Grace IS sufficient toward us as we allow His Holy Presence to shine His Light on the dark places of our souls and reveal what must change within us.
Is anyone dealing with some "thorns" in their life? (My hand is raised.)
Because of Him and Unto Him,