Boasting #4: Thorns, Weakness, Strength
|To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2Corinthians12:7-10)|
In today's passage we get to the very heart of why he's doing this.
Paul knows that it's not about him!
He knows that there is more to life than his own achievements, his own glory and his own ego.
With incredible self-insight and self-awareness, Paul shares a story of weakness - a "thorn in the flesh".
We don't know exactly what this "thorn in the flesh" was - the best suggestion was that he had an ailment with his eyes - a debilitating disease that caused his eyes to fester and impeded his vision. It wasn't nice to look at and meant that Paul needed the help of scribes and made people feel very sorry for him.
He could have felt like a victim - like life was unfair - he was serving God wasn't he? So why should he have this "thorn?"
But Paul says it so well - God's grace shines through my weakness - his strength is shown in my weakness.
His weakness has caused him to trust in God's grace and He has realised that when he is weak - he is strong.
When it is all about us then it always needs to go well.
When we get beyond ourselves, then there is room for God to work in mysterious and mischievous ways - bringing strength out of weakness and grace out of pain.
May we discover that when we are weak - He is strong.