To keep me from getting puffed up, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud. – 2 Corinthians 12:7
My friend and I had been talking about the way adversity forces us to trust God. “I’ve lived twenty years with a thorn in the flesh,” my friend re-marked. “How do I learn dependence now that the thorn is out?” We agreed that pride and fleshly energy take over so easily when the need to depend is removed. If we feel strong and confident apart from God—watch out!
Yet all of life will not necessarily be one long chapter of accidents. What about the times “the thorn” is removed or we find ourselves be-tween thorns? To depend even when the sun shines is a real test of maturity. It helps to pray a lot. Prayer gives us a sense of our inadequacy at all times and this helps us lean on the Lord.
To be reminded of his Person reminds me of my person, and that will surely help me to depend! Isaiah, seeing God high and lifted up, saw himself low and cast down (Isaiah 6). A season of prayer will help us to stop saying “Wow is me” and make sure we say “Woe is me”! Physical thorns can be in our fleshly nature until the day we die and should keep us in constant dependence on the Spirit of God to make good his strength in our weakness. This way we will glory in his power and not in our own strength.
For Further Study: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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