Thorn in the Flesh
To keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud (2 Corinthians 12:7, NLT).
Paul’s thorn in the flesh that he mentioned in 2 Corinthians 12 could have been some kind of disability, something he’d been born with. More likely, it was something he incurred later in life as a result of his many beatings, shipwrecks, or the time he was stoned and left for dead.
Whatever it was, it bothered him greatly — to the point that he asked the Lord on three separate occasions to take it away. Each time, however, the Lord said no, telling Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you” (verse 9). Effectively Jesus was saying, “Paul, I’m not giving you healing this time. I’m giving you Me. I’m giving you My presence, and that is My answer to you.”
Sometimes when we have physical afflictions, the healing will come. By all means pray for it, and pray more than once. Ask the Lord to touch you, heal you, restore you. But there are times in our lives too when He will say, “My grace is sufficient.” And instead of a healing, He personally will be there for you in a unique and sufficient way.
God is with you regardless of what hardship, heartache, or storm you may be enduring right now. You are not alone.
I remember teaching my granddaughter Stella some Bible verses when she was only two-and-a-half. One was: “Jesus said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ ” Stella did pretty good with it, even though she said “porsake” instead of “forsake.” I don’t think she even understands what it means yet. But that’s okay; she is hearing God’s Word and getting it into her little heart.
What a truth to hang on to! What a handhold in any storm! He will never leave or forsake you . . . even when tragedy hits . . . even when your company downsizes, and you get the dreaded pink slip . . . even when the doctor calls and says, “The test results are back, and I need you to come to my office immediately” . . . even when the phone rings and someone says, “There’s been an accident.”
You aren’t alone. The Lord is standing next to you. He cares. He will be there.