I feel thorns where my crown was. I am weak but I’m alive. From the dusk until dawn, I’ll survive ’cause I got sweet victory. Nobody can take it from me.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

You are my shelter and my shield; I put my hope in Your word” – Psalm 119:114


Some things are simply out of our control.

It doesn’t matter how often you pray, how many people you’ve “brought to Christ” (truth is, the answer is zero, but that’s a discussion for a different day), or all the ministries you serve in. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pastor or if you’ve been saved for three seconds. It doesn’t matter if you’ve served God for two days or if you’ve served Him for decades.

Nobody is immune to (as Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 12) “weakness, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and pressures”.

Paul, considered to be the greatest man who lived besides Jesus, wasn’t immune. In order to keep Paul humble, God sent him a “thorn on his side”. Nobody knows exactly what that thorn was. There are a few theories, but truthfully, when it comes to God’s Word, it’s better to take something at face value than try to fill in the gaps with “theories”. That said, Paul prayed THREE TIMES for this thorn to be removed, but God denied the request.

Could Paul have benefitted from the removal of the thorn? Most likely. If it was a physical ailment, certainly a better physical state could have helped the spread of the Gospel. If it was a mental ailment, certainly a clearer mind would have helped his ministry. No matter what his “thorn” was, it is arguable that the removal of it would have brought glory to God somehow.

But we’re not the ones who get to determine that: God is.

One day, I hope to look back on days like today and say “I’m glad that’s over”…but what if it isn’t? What if God doesn’t remove the hardship I’m dealing with right now? I used to think my hope was in a “better day”…but what if, in God’s infinite wisdom, that “better day” never comes?

Just yesterday I stumbled upon a blog of a sister in Christ who has had many more years dealing with this same “thorn”. Reading just a couple of her posts brought me to tears. Finally, I had an explanation, an answer to all of my questions. Things suddenly made sense to me. God used her pain and her struggle to help others in the faith. Her thorn was ultimately removed (or so it seems).

But what if God says “no” to me?

I spent some time praying specifically about this yesterday and one verse kept coming up. Ever since, the verse has popped up in numerous places, leading me to believe God really wants to drive this point home in my heart.

But He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

If the healing never comes, His grace is sufficient for me.
If I never go back to the person I used to be, His grace is sufficient for me.
If everything in my life slowly derails, His grace is sufficient for me.
If nobody knows about my pain but me, His grace is sufficient for me.
If nobody ever understands the depths of my hardships, His grace is sufficient for me.
If nothing truly ever seems “redeemed”, His grace is sufficient for me.

God CAN remove this hardship. I believe God WILL remove this hardship, but even if He DOESN’T remove this hardship…I will still have SWEET VICTORY in Him.

You are my shelter and my shield; I put my hope in Your word

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