“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.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians: 7-1)
I find this a difficult passage to truly understand. In some ways, I understand – that God’s power is seen through our weaknesses. But when I am in the midst of the throes of pain, doubts creep in. They seem to whisper in my ear, “You are not strong enough to handle this one.” “It’s too much, why don’t you just give in and admit God isn’t fair?” “Why don’t you just give up trying?”
I’m appalled at those whispers – but when I am confronted by physical pain, oh how hard it is to remember that God will be strong for me. Yet, each and every time He sees me through. I do get to the other side. Not always as gracefully as I’d like – but I do get through.
Knowing the trials of Paul helps me immensely. Knowing that there was something, that tormented him – a thorn in the flesh that he pleaded with God to take it away, and that God said no takes away the other doubts in my mind. Doubts that others sometimes voice.
“You know, if you only had enough faith, God would heal you.” “If you spent more time in the Word, this would go away.” Or worst of all, “It can’t possibly be as bad as you make it out to be.”
I can point myself to this Scripture with relief and say, “Paul suffered, too. God has his reasons.” And somehow, His reasons will show His strength and glory.
And in the meantime, in the times of pain, I must keep my eyes on Him saying, “To God be the glory – even in pain.”
If in some small way, my life can glorify Him. Then it’s worth it. And all those whispers? They can be put to rest.
About the Author:
deni believes that the only true way to deal with chronic challenges is to bring them to the feet of her Lord and Savior. Her challenges have taught her many things about herself and her Christian walk. It is her fondest desire that her lessons may be helpful to others as they walk the path of chronic illness. deni can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her website is http://www.pathwaysforchange.com/Encouragement