“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. (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)
One of the Names that our heavenly Father holds is Jehovah-Rapha, which when translated means “the God our Healer.” The church in general has so many different views on the topic of healing. Throughout the church though, we do agree that our God is the source of all healing and that time and time again, people have been miraculously healed in Jesus’ Name. The cancer was gone, the blocked valve in the heart was clear, etc.
Then why haven’t I experienced this miraculous healing in my life? Is it something that I did that is holding back God from doing this great work in my life? Paul must have wondered the same thing as he suffered with “a thorn in the flesh.” (2 Corinthians 12:7)
Scholars agree that it was a type of physical ailment that Paul was suffering in his body. It must have been something that was causing intense physical suffering in his life as he “pleaded” three different times with God to remove it from his life.
We all have thorns in our life. Some stick in the flesh deeper than others though and cause more pain and misery. The thorns can seem unbearable to handle at times and we plead with God to remove the thorn from our body.
As Paul pleaded, he got an answer that he did not want to hear. God said No! Paul pleaded a second and a third time only to hear the same answer again. This proves to me that God gives different people different answers about healing, some of which we will not like. Many of us have and will continue to pray for our healing and for the healing of others only to hear the same answer as Paul did.
God was not going to remove the thorn but He had a plan to deal with it. He told Paul that He would give him the grace to endure. God’s grace would be more than sufficient to deal with the thorn and all of the negative effects it brought to his body. God was going to do something in Paul’s life that he could not do for himself.
Through God’s grace, the weakness that was present in his body would be made strong through God’s power. As God worked in Paul’s life, people would see the power of God on display and it would allow him to boast upon how God has worked through the thorn to draw people to Himself. I do not think that Paul would have had the incredible impact for Christ that he did if it was not for the experience of the thorn in the flesh.
For many of us, our healing will never be seen in this life. But hold on because our healing is coming no matter what. When the person who places their total trust in Jesus leaves this earth someday through death or the return of Christ, their healing will be guaranteed when they take on the body that will never have to endure pain or weakness. God might say no for now, but it’s only a matter of time before His answer is yes and our healing is complete.
Prayer: Father, may your will be done in our lives concerning our physical healing. If you say no, please give me your grace and strength to endure the thorn faithfully so that people may be drawn to you. Help me to keep my eyes heavenward, looking forward to the day where my physical healing will be complete in Jesus. Amen.
About the Author:
Charles Wells is an ordained minister who lives in Texas with his 10-year-old son, 7-year-old daughter and his wife. He suffers from major spinal problems and has had three major back surgeries. He has taken this pain and uses it for God’s glory by ministering to people in nursing homes, rehab centers and writing on these experiences. You may visit his blog at http://revcawells.wordpress.com.
Where would your faith in Christ be today if you did not encounter your thorn in the flesh?
Have you ever felt just exhausted about it all? Worn out? Wondering if you are hearing God right? I love this song (and needed it today), “All I Can Say” by the David Crowder Band. Enjoy. -Lisa