By: Chloe Grabeman
If we are honest with ourselves, we can look into our own lives and know exactly what Paul is talking about here.
Your weakness. The thorn in your side.
Those stubborn splinters in our flesh just deep enough escape the power of the tweezers. They never seem to miss an opportunity to remind you that life isn’t quite what you think it could be. To taunt you that something is somehow wrong with you.
That you’re incomplete.
Meant for less.
I would be lying to you if I said I did not have a thorn in my side, and there are times when I forget about its presence, and times when I can’t deny its sting. A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine that truly made this verse come alive for me in a way with the simplest act of reassurance.
I was telling her something I’ve been wrestling with that never fails to get in my way. I felt so frustrated and defeated with this constant stumbling block, truly wondering if there was something wrong with me and if God would ever take it away. After I told her how I had been feeling with this continual problem, she said with all the empathy in the world,
“Me too, I’m the exact same way.”
These simple words, “me too,” brought me the most unexpected freedom. It let me know that I was not alone. My frantic mind finally could rest for a while; I could breathe, I had someone to walk with.
There is nothing the enemy loves to do more than isolate us to make us think we are the only one in the world that struggle with this thorn. But I am finding that the truth of this verse shows the creativity of God in using a tool of the enemy as a vessel of compassion and hope. A beautiful reminder of why we are on this earth together.
It’s so simple to fall into the trap that weaknesses are unredeemable qualities meant to cause us shame. So, we stay silenced.
But we’re never meant to stay silent or only talk to God about the parts of us that are particularly human, otherwise, we would be on this earth alone. Instead we are supposed to let others into our weakness with these “me too” moments and finally make room for God’s strength to enter in from all angles for parties. It is then that our thorn becomes a source of boasting and contentment as Paul describes. We can rest knowing that even if our thorns remain a constant companion, others can know they are not alone.
Let this be an encouragement today that your greatest weakness may be a source of someone’s greatest relief. A chance for God to enter in and begin to change our perspective and the voices we are listening to.
“For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Strong Enough – Matthew West
Running in Circles – United Pursuit
Goodness of God – King’s Choir
Divine Romance – Phil Wickham
Check them out on the Real and True Playlist on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/128815512/playlist/3YfqgeMjEUj7ZB8ydKd5qL
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