Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 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. 10 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.
(This post is a bit tongue in cheek)
I had never really understood what Paul was talking about in this passage until 2002. There has been much conjecture about what Paul is describing in this passage – what exactly was he being tormented with – but it is now absolutely clear to me. He is absolutely, unequivocally, and decidedly talking about…
I have never heard a better description of those little boogers than what Paul gives.
1) “a thorn in my flesh” – if you have experienced an ATTACK then you know exactly what I’m talking about. These tiny little thorns are capable of making grown men cry and reducing them to shriveled up balls of humanity that lie in fetal positions in the middle of public spaces. Trust me – I know of that which I speak.
2) “a messenger of Satan” – it is as if the evil one has developed the perfect weapon designed to cause God’s image bearers to curse the day that they were born. I realized back in 2002, perhaps for the first time, that my salvation was indeed real and that sanctification was indeed taking place in my life when I did NOT revert back to the language of my B.C. days and cuss up a storm of foulness – but believe you me I was mighty tempted.
3) “Three times I pleaded with the Lord” – If ever there was an understatement then this is it. Pleaded! Begged! Implored! Beseeched! Just take it away or kill me right now. There are many things that I want to ask God about one day: Why did you make mosquitos? Why do I not have hair on my head but do have it in so many other places? And what were you thinking when you created those little nephritic terrors?
This much, however, I do know… God’s grace is indeed sufficient for me. An no matter what comes my way in this lifetime, the Lord will sustain me because His promise to me is that He “will be with me”… even when the dreaded kidney stones march boldly through my body.