2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Do you have something that drags you down? Maybe it’s a chronic illness or an unhealthy relationship. Maybe you are stuck in a job that is neither satisfying nor fulfilling. Maybe you are estranged from a son or daughter. You have prayed and prayed…and yet no answer seems to be coming.
If you have an ongoing prayer for an ongoing need, then you can relate to the apostle Paul. Although we don’t know what Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was, we know he wanted it out of his life. In three separate times of intense prayer, he asked God to take it away. But each time God said, “No.” God used the “thorn” to keep Paul depending on him. The “thorn” was a continual reminder of Paul’s need and God’s provision of sufficient grace.
We don’t invite challenging times into our lives. And when they come, we pray for God to take them away. But sometimes he doesn’t. That isn’t because he has forgotten you, lost interest in you, or doesn’t care for you. God never wastes our time. He is reminding you that he is all you need, that his grace is abundant, and that he shows up with great power in your weakness. Like Paul, you can say, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Talking to God
Father, thank you for the thorns. That is hard to say. And I pray that you will take my thorn away (name the specific challenge). Show your awesome power through my weakness and inadequacy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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