Seeing Thorns as Blessings
"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me" (2 Cor. 12:7).
Have you ever had something in your life you wish was not there? If God gave you one wish, perhaps it would be to change that one thing. Perhaps it is the source of pain or challenge in your life. You seek God continually for relief from it, but He seems strangely silent.
Paul also experienced an ongoing burden that he called a "thorn in [his] flesh." Bible scholars have speculated as to what this thorn might have been, but no one knows for sure. We do know that it was so hurtful to Paul that he asked God on three different occasions to remove it from his life:
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 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 (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
Paul had a great calling on his life. The revelations and faith experiences that God gave him would have been too much for any man’s humility. So God, in order to insure His investment in Paul’s life, allowed this man a thorn in his flesh to help him maintain a humble, godly perspective.
Perhaps God has given you such a thorn designed to allow you to place greater trust and reliance upon Him. Ask God to reveal to you the blessing of the thorn He has placed in your life.
The bloom of a rose is beautiful, but the thorn of a rose produces only pain. Thorns hurt us yet they humble us. That is the blessing of thorns.