Have you ever had a nagging splinter in your finger or hand? What about a paper cut on your finger? Okay, how about this– you ever had a cramp or a “charlie horse” in your leg?
Each and every one of these are nagging and beyond irritating! Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of cramps in my athletic days… not the most exciting time of my life!
Needless to say, just like cramps, splinters, and paper cuts, there are times when we deal with life issues and challenges that are just as nagging and irritating, if not more. Just like those cramps, splinters, and cuts, there are times when we deal with personal problems, struggles, issues, pain, addictions, shortcomings, thoughts, tragedies, and/or people that nag and irritate us. Unfortunately, unlike cramps, splinters, and paper cuts, these irritants seem to never go away!
This is not only human nature, but this is also biblical. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, the Apostle Paul writes:
“7 Even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep[a] me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated.[b] 8 Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9 but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power[c] is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
In other words, Paul had his own (thorn) personal struggle, issue, habit, addiction, or cramp that he dealt with! He never explicitly tells us what his “thorn” was, but we know it never left him. It was a constant nag and irritant in his life to remind him of his humanity and imperfection. However, what I like about Paul is, he chose to boast and be glad/happy, in spite of what he had to deal with! He was glad/happy, because he had faith that God would give him the strength and grace to be effective and useful, even in his shortcomings.
SO……..no matter your “thorn” or issue in life, choose to be HAPPY, because GOD will give you all the power, strength, ability, grace, and courage you need to BE who God has called you to BE!