There is not a person my age that is not intimately aware that “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” I would venture that people of the next generation are only slightly less familiar and the one after that has at least heard the song – it was quite important to our generation and it will be played on radio and live by cover bands for years to come.
Here I go with music again. Imagine – No, not the song.
Well, I am talking about thorns today but not the power ballad variety.
For several days now, I have been reminded about the “thorn” or as Paul calls it “the messenger of Satan” that he was stricken with. The bible does not tell us what the “thorn” was and I am not going to speculate – it is not relevant to this post. The thing I am going to focus on is what Paul said after that.
In verses 8- 10 of 2 Corinthians 12 Paul says this about his tormentor:
“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. 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.”
It is right there at the beginning. Paul says three times he pleaded…
BUT, Paul says “but he said to me, “…’My grace is sufficient’…”. I read that and my heart melted.
I have spent countless hours – no, I don’t do it every day but I have spent so much time asking God to get me out of my J-O-B that I would say it borders on an obsession – heck, if I got paid for the time spent praying for just that one thing I’d make enough money to leave that J-O-B.
Small over estimation – really small.
Turns out my J-O-B IS my thorn.
Well, duh! I know right?
Realizing that totally changed my attitude. It caused me to see something that I been missing for I don’t know how long.
I had taken my eyes off God. The J-O-B became my God. It got all my attention. All my focus – not all my love but if you look at your life, how you spend your money and TIME is usually a good indication of where your heart can be found.
Jesus told us to love God with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls – I was not even coming close to that doing what I had been which was ignoring the gift God gave me to use and looking only at my circumstances.
There can be no argument that God wants to have exceedingly abundantly more than we can hope or imagine – the bible says as much – but we have to put him first and when you think about the fact that he died FOR the sins of the WHOLE world, why wouldn’t you?