Paul concluded, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (II Cor. 12:7-10)
We all wish that we could have a trouble free life. Only a fool wants illness or pain. No Christian wants to be guilty of a moral failure. The irony is that the Bible is full of stories of men and women that experienced all of these.
We reach real Christian maturity when we can become thankful for the thorns. The thorns help us rely more on God. Our thorns help us to be sensitive to the needs of others who are experiencing their own tragedies and failings.
Paul reminds us that God can use “all things” (even the bad stuff) to work for good. (Romans 8:28)
I don’t want any problems, but at the same time I thank God for them.
George Matheson, a blind preacher of Scotland, said, "My God, I have never thanked Thee for my thorn. I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses, but not once for my thorn. I have been looking forward to a world where I shall get compensation for my cross; but I have never thought of my cross as itself a present glory.
"Teach me the glory of my cross; teach me the value of my thorn. Show me that I have climbed to Thee by the path of pain. Show me that my tears have made my rainbows."
©2006 C. David Hess