Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Thorny Situation

"Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become."
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 MSG

How many times have you've been there? Begging God to take away your "thorn?" When I as young, I read about Paul's thorn. Immediately an image of a sticker--like a foxtail getting stuck in your sock--sticking in his side would come to mind and I found myself cringing.

But lately, I'm getting to the realization that it's the little things that can become a thorn, not just the big things. It's not the big "sin", it's those little, every day irritates that can be just as much as a deterrent to your walk as anything. And it saddens me about me.

How many times do I let the little stuff steal my joy? How many times to I let Satan get my self-esteem by allowing little comments from others to make me insecure? How many times to I let my judgements of people keep the ones that need to feel God's love the most, at arms length? Too many.

If I believe, truly believe that Jesus died for ALL of us, then I need to accept ALL. If I believe, truly believe that my God has my best interests at heart--then I need to release the thorns. For you see, a thorn released is a situation to rejoice in. For each time I release a thorn, I grow a little more into what I desire with my whole being to be--made in the image of Him who formed me.

What about you? Have you come face to face with your thorns? And when you have, what will you do with them? It's the attitude that makes it a thorn or a blessing. Bring your thorns to your Father. As it states above;

"My grace is enough, it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own with your weakness."

He will be more than glad to help you make them vanish forever. You will not be judged. You will not be belittled. You will not be turned away. You just need to trust Him. Do you? Paul did.

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