A Thorn Full of Grace

thornToday I’m reflecting on Paul’s thorn in the flesh that God refused to remove (1 Cor. 12). No one really knows what the thorn was, but it was painful and annoying to Paul.

Three times Paul asked the Lord to remove it, but God said no each time. Instead, God provided grace to deal with the thorn, stating “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (1 Cor. 12:9, NIV).

As I think about this, it strikes me that sometimes grace isn’t found in the exit, but rather, simply in the journey itself.

Grace isn’t always found in the escape; it’s sometimes found in the prison. It’s not always found in the provision; it’s found in the lack. It’s not always found in the healing; it’s found in the pain.

God didn’t promise He’d walk us OUT of the valley of the shadow of death, but rather, that He’d walk us THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death.

“Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me” (Ps. 23:4, KJV).

His presence doesn’t always mean the end of the difficulty. Rather, it promises that the fear caused by the difficulty will be completely erased. Scary circumstances don’t necessarily end when God shows up, but when God shows up, scary circumstances cease to be scary.

Whatever you may be struggling with today, know that God’s grace is sufficient for you. Paul found grace in the thorn. Maybe God’s got a thorn full of grace for you, too.

I know I have a thorn or two. Of course, just because God uses them in my life doesn’t mean I’m going to stop praying for Him to remove them.

But then, He knows better than I do. So maybe—just maybe—I can trust Him even when I don’t have a clue what He’s doing.

Maybe—just maybe—you can too.

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