The Thorn In My Flesh

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Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  2 Corinthians 12:7

See, I have this pain in my neck.  It comes and goes.  Some days (like today) it's virtually non-existent.  Then some days (like yesterday), I can hardly move my upper body.

Thorns

I wonder if it's stress related.

Or an injury from doing too much during a long ago workout.

Maybe it's because of that car accident I was in at 19 when the doctor told me I "sprained my neck".  Could it still be hurting?

Is it satanic attack?

I don't really have an answer.  I just know that it hurts.

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." 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

I can't say I've earnestly pleaded with the Lord about this.  Honestly, it doesn't seem like THAT big of a deal.  There are starving children, people fighting radical diseases like cancer and AIDS, families being torn apart by sin; my pained neck doesn't seem too bad compared to all of that.

But it is my neck.  I do have to figure out what to do with it.  How to act when it hurts.

Some of you know about my past struggles with getting angry and lashing out at my children.  I've come a long way, but I still get irritated and don't always speak with a kind voice.

Guess what I've noticed on days when my neck hurts?

I'm much more patient and kind.

What? 

I know, it doesn't seem to make sense.  Maybe that's where God's "power is made perfect in weakness."

On the days when my neck hurts it can be a little bit hard to think.  I feel more irritable on the inside.  And I have a hard time getting from here to there.  I am so intensely aware of my weaknesses on these days that I focus more on how my words come out.  I think more carefully through the interactions I have.

I am a kinder mother.

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

This has taken me by surprise.  This little neck ache I have.

Not that I would mind if it went away, and not that I'm asking to find out what would happen if I had a more serious thorn.  But I am glad to be able to see the truth of these verses.  I am thankful for God's grace and being able to grasp the truth of  "when I am weak, then I am strong."

What about you?  Do you have a thorn in your flesh?  What has God taught you through it?

*photo credit

Christy Halsell

Christy lives at the beach, loves on five children, and drives a minivan with too much sand on the floor. Homeschooling mother by day, graphic designer by night, Christy writes about letting Jesus heal the hurts of life and adds snippets on tricks she's learned about running a family of seven.

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