2 Corinthians 12:7-10
No one would ever choose to have a thorn in the flesh. Just the thought of a thorn makes us shrink back. Thorns are painful. Thorns are nagging. Thorns, though they may be small, literally impact the entire body when they pierce the skin. There is nothing desirable about it from our standpoint. God, however, knows what we need more than we do. What we need is not always what we want, but when we receive what God knows we need, we often discover it’s just what we wanted in hindsight. Paul was given a thorn in the flesh. Paul’s thorn was not wasted though. This thorn taught Paul several truths.
1. The Thorn Taught Paul about Pride
v7 “lest I should be exalted above measure.”
Paul was not a prideful man. He had every reason to boast. He possessed an impressive resume. God understood the temptation that could overcome Paul and allowed this thorn in the flesh to buffet him. Why? Lest he be exalted above measure.
2. The Thorn Taught Paul about Prayer
v8 “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice…”
The thorn Paul battled brought him to his knees, which was the exact place he needed to be. Paul’s prayer life graduated to a higher grade when he was given this thorn. He prayed and prayed repeatedly.
3. The Thorn Taught Paul about Power
v9 “…for my strength is made perfect in weakness…”
Paul discovered his own insufficiency. The Thorn taught him that he was not enough, in and of himself. He must rely on the grace and power of God. When Paul became weak, it was then that the power of Christ could be manifested through his life.
“My life is but a weaving between my Lord and me.
I cannot choose the colors He worketh steadily.
Ofttimes he weaveth sorrow and I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper and I the underside.
Not till the loom is silent and the shuttle ceases to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why.”