Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9

To keep me from becoming 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."

A thorn in my irritant...something painful...and hard to withstand...a constant reminder. That's what I believe depression is for me...a thorn in my flesh. It's a reminder that I am human, and fallible, and imperfect, and incapable of doing this whole "life" thing on my own. It reminds me that I am weak. And it keeps me tethered to God...reliant on reminds me just how much I need Him in my life. When I am weak, He is strong. When you are weak, He is strong. His grace is sufficient for me...and for you.

Can you think of something that you've been "pleading" with God to take away but He hasn't? And you think He's just not answering you? Well, maybe it's not a matter of Him not answering your prayer...but more a matter of Him deciding that very thing you want Him to get rid of is what He's going to use to keep you close to Him...reliant on Him...leaning on Him. You think? I don't know...just a thought...

It took me a while to come to this realization. And I fought it for a long time...wondering when it would just go away. But then one day I read that scripture and it made sense...and it made it OK in a way. I guess the knowledge that God was allowing me to struggle with depression made me realize that He was also in control of it. Yes, He could take it away from me, if He so chose. But since He's not choosing to...and He's allowing me to deal with it on a regular basis...then He must be with my while doing it and helping me with it along the way. Knowing this made all the difference in the world. Knowing that I was not alone (which is the big lie the enemy wants you to're alone...nobody loves you...nobody understands...blah blah...lies lies lies) made me confident that I could power through, because God was right there with me every step of the way.

One of the great things about thorns in the flesh is our ability to learn from them and then take what we've learned and help someone else in the same situation. You know the saying, "It's not about me."?'s not. It's about God. And the His Kingdom. So maybe it's time to stop focusing on the thorn and our own pain and reach out to someone whose thorn is embedded a little deeper than our own.

God is good...and His power is made perfect in our weakness.


WhiteStone said...

My current "thorn" is cancer. But once upon a time it was depression. And one of the moments of "light" was when hubby pointed me to Romans 8:34 "Who is he who condemns!" Instantly all those self-condemning thoughts were revealed to me as lies. That was a moment of real change in my thinking.

Tia said...

Being alone: only child, single parent, not many friends. I do most everything alone...Alas, my thorn.

Dave said...

Wisdom allows certain questions to remain unanswered and finds faith (and His grace) to be sufficient in those times. - Rick Martinez, pastor.

Why, why, why the thorns in our sides? We were just having this same conversation last night. And a friend said, the question is not WHY? but WHO? Who is with us always, closer than a brother? Who does not condemn or forsake or leave us ever, no matter how awful we or our situation are? Who will always show us and guide us and be right next to us through what ever comes our way? Who can deliver us?
He CAN take our thorns away, and sometimes does. And other times just walks us or carries us through them. Sometimes He calms the storm, sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child. The kingdom is here, but not in its fullness. Now and not yet. And His grace is sufficient for our every weakness. And we can do nothing, nothing, nothing on our own. It is all by His grace, even when He allows us to think we handled this or that by ourselves (aren't we funny?). Not just our weakness, not just the biggies of life, but ALL of it is by His Grace. Even Jesus said apart from the Father He could do NOTHING. Wow! And I am not Jesus!
Not that I understand what all this means, or even half way understand grace. I know it is the right answer even if I don't get it all yet. Maybe this is why God showed me in January that grace would be what I should be a student of this year? You think?
'It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace.' Hebrews 13:9a Linda