Hi there..it is my hope that you are well. I’m about to share something and I believe that this post is meant for me just as much as it’s meant for you.
I will talk about thorns. Thorns referring to situations or struggles we face that come in the way of our thriving in the Lord. Here’s a thing about thorns ; they are hard to get out. The more it stays, the deeper it pierces and the harder and more painful it becomes to get it out. The sooner you deal with it, the less severe the consequences and the easier it will be to overcome because it would not have a great hold of you yet. I recently just removed one from my foot 😀 . And the spirit led me to this… I was learning something…I did not realise it until now.
At first, I felt some pain while walking. It was faint, but I felt it…Because I was in a hurry & running errands, I did not really take the time to check it out, I ignored it. Thought it was just an irritation, a stone or something. Moments later, the pain increased. So I stopped, took off my sandal and shook it then looked at my foot. It was so red and when I touched the surface, I felt a sharp object …protuding from my foot. I tried to pull it out but to no avail. I tried and tried but no! The thing was just not getting out. The more I tried, the more frustrated I got. I couldn’t have a hold of it. I had to limp my way home , settle down, and ask for help from my mum 🙂 .She got it out after doing some needle work on my foot because it was too far in …But it got out.
This got me thinking…How many times have we encountered the same? Well not a literal thorn but struggles….they have been hard to overcome…If you have struggled with one, then you know what I’m talking about. I will give a few examples- Drug addiction; alcohol,cigarettes etc? A physical ailment (disease)? Maybe you struggle with discontentment, always wanting more and more which as a result clouds your mind from realising the blessings you already have which leads to loss altogether, Maybe you’re angry and moody all the time no matter how much you try to be joyful,Is it that wordly music you feed your mind with that you seem to have a hard time letting go of? Maybe a relationship you have no business being in? Struggle with reading the bible? Could it be low self esteem, low confidence…..or shame? Disobedience in the name of minding how others feel? Let us look at Paul; He mentioned a thorn in his flesh too in 2 Corinthians 12:7 “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.” I’m not sure of what exactly Paul was struggling with because it is not specified, still researching on that though, but it seems that whatever it was, it troubled him so much.
But then, there is God’s provision to Paul through his thorn in the flesh- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 , “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
God had a response for Paul. The answer was not what Paul was initially hoping for, or expecting. But God still had a response for Paul. We often close our ears to God if He responds in a way we were not hoping for, or expecting.
God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness : Instead of removing the thorn from Paul’s life, God had given, and would give, His grace to Paul. The grace God gave Paul was sufficient to meet his every need.
There are two ways of taking away a burden. It can be done by:-
1. Removing the load
2.Strengthening the shoulder bearing the load.
Instead of taking away the thorn, God would strengthen Paul under it, and God would show His strength through Paul’s weakness .
There is no way we can believe God’s grace is sufficient until we believe we ourselves are insufficient.
Thorns have no life. Thorns hold you back. Thorns steal your joy. Thorns are empty. Thorns break bonds. Thorns come from the enemy. But thorns can be overcome. Making the choice to give your life to Christ does not guarantee a free card from these struggles. You will face them tenfold especially. With your own strength it will be impossible to overcome them. Impossible. You cannot do it.
So, how do we deal with thorns?
1. Realise you have a thorn. Accept you have a struggle. Humble yourself and realise you need help
2. Pray and ask God to fight with you through it, and if its something you have no control over, I promise you He will give you sufficient grace and strength you never thought you’d have. I needed help from my mum to remove the thorn in my foot. I couldn’t do it on my own…just in the same way we need Christ to overcome.
3. Talk to someone; a mentor or a trusted friend. They may have faced the same struggle as you hence more knowledgable. They will make great accountability as well.
4. The bible- read it and read it out loud. It will restart your heart and refresh your soul. It will strengthen your faith (faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God) and give you a better understanding
5. Praise: praise God through it. There is just something about praising God. It will remind you of His might. Proclaim that He has already done it for you. Say it again and again. He is faithful and He is faithful to His promises.
His grace is sufficient.
God loves you so much.