Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sufficient Grace

"To keep me from being conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, 
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”  ~ 2 Corinthians 12:7-9

     Paul shares that he was given a thorn in his flesh.  We don’t know what his thorn actually was, but we do know that he wanted to be rid of it desperately.  Perhaps the thorn was not identified specifically so that each of us could relate to Paul’s battle.  
     All of us have thorns in our lives.  A thorn is an area where we feel most vulnerable or defeated.  Our thorns could be depression, an irritating neighbor, a boundary-less relative, splitting headaches, a cancer diagnosis, or even the inability to let go of hurtful memories.
          Paul wrestled with God about his issue.  He prayed three times for his thorn to be removed.  Finally, God answers but it was probably not exactly what Paul wanted to hear.  God said, “No.”  Well actually, what He said was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”  God did not remove the thorn.  He gave Paul grace to live with the thorn.
     As Christians we sometimes think that if we pray hard enough, if we are obedient enough, if we trust enough, or are somehow good enough that we will be spared the painful thorns in life.  The Bible doesn’t say that.  Nobody gets a pass from difficulty in life.
     I can recall some hard things that I have gone through that I believed God could have prevented or removed, but He didn’t.  But my trust in Him grew.  Was there pain?  Yes.  Did I wrestle with God?  Yes.  Did He make it all better?  Eventually.  I learned that I could trust Him to be with me in the fire of my battles.  
     So as we feel the thorny ache in our side, consider the One who suffered more than just a piercing of His side for us.  Remember that His power is made perfect in weakness.


Wendy @ E-1-A said...

Beautiful post Donna

Wendy @ ECTaS

Reformed rebel said...

Hi Donna ~ I just found your blog this morning while I was doing a little blog hopping before glad I did. I never thought of the reason you gave for the thorn not being identified before. That makes since to me. This is just what I needed to "hear" this morning.
Thank you for the encouragement! I am your newest follower.

Lois Christensen said...

One thing I know is that my "thorn" keeps me looking to the Lord. Asking Him for strength throughout the day. Great post!

Cyn said...

Love this post! I too wrestle with a thorn. Some days alot of them. The Lord always reminds me of his love and grace..and eventually I come around to realizing...he always knows what is best for me.

Liz @ Quirky Vistas said...

Oh, Donna, isn't it the truth. Thanks for the beautiful reminder of His power during our weakness and amidst those thorns we each have to endure. Thank you for coming by with encouraging words about my rain post at Quirky Vistas.


Marcia Bosma said...

Hi Donna,

I just found your blog yesterday, after you commented on mine! And I'm so glad I did. I just sat down to read this post and it spoke directly to something I have been battling today. I am feeling God calling me to something new in women's ministry, and yet I feel so alone in it. I want so badly for one of my girlfriends to walk the road with me, and every time I think one of them might, they go back to their comfortable spots instead. Today at church I was feeling especially vulnerable and defeated...the exact words you use to describe what a thorn can be. I hadn't thought of it that way, but I think loneliness in ministry is my thorn. But maybe the reason God hasn't called the others to walk with me is because He wants me to rely on Him alone. To remember that His power is made perfect in my weakness! Thanks for sharing!

Christine said...

Beautiful reminder. Such truth here! Visiting from Wendy's blog. Have a wonderful week!

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Lovely photo......God is more concerned about our character and relationship with Him than our comfort, the eternal over the temporary. Thankfully His grace IS sufficient at all times.

Unknown said...

So glad this spoke to your heart. I pray that God shows you His grace and encourages you in the work He has given you to do.

betty-NZ said...

Great post and wonderful reminder for all of us.

Gina Kleinworth said...

Oh yes- it's hard to trust. Especially when the pain is so hard- but the lessons are there & will continue to come until we learn them.

Foursons said...

I'm so glad I went back and read this post. I have heard many times, "My grace is sufficent for you" but I never realized it pertained to a thorn in Paul's side. Suddenly the whole picture makes everything make sense. Thank you!

Richella Parham said...

Yes, indeed. To remember that it's HIS power on which we depend, not our own--that's the hard thing, isn't it? But what peace comes from remembering this!

Thanks so much for joining Grace at Home!

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

I can so relate to this post! Your photo is gorgeous and the words you have written are so encouraging! Thank you for linking to Think on These Things!

Kindly, Lorraine

Allison said...

Thank God you stopped by my blog today...God knows I needed to read this post from someone wiser than me-). I look forward to following...your posts are truly inspirational.

Pin It button on image hover