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  • Henry Omotayo

Think You Have A Thorn?

2 Corinthians 12:6-10

Message No. 0620 | Twitter @GodandUs |

This past week I watched a gospel choir audition on Netflix, and as interesting as it was, I was moved almost to tiers just by hearing the stories of some of the auditionees. One told a story of when he was a small boy and was always riding with his father to mow their lawn. On one occasion, they were mowing around a tree, and he fell off the mower, unknown to his father. By the time the father knew, the trailer (behind the mower) had detached and crushed his hand below the elbow, leading to the amputation of his hand. When he showed up at the audition, he was wearing a device on that hand by which he was able to pick a few objects. Another auditionee was a 15-year-old girl who was born without one ear. Though she had undergone series of surgeries and skin grafting to construct a second ear, it never looked like the original ear, and she could still not hear anything with the one that was constructed. She only had 50 percent hearing ability and she struggled with sounds and music. Yet, in all these, both auditionees were determined to make the cut.

In Luke 8:43-48, there was a woman who had suffered a blood flow for 12 years. Just imagine what it looked like to undergo such emotional shame and energy sapping activity going on in your body for 12 long years. She had paid the doctors lots of money but there was no solution, so she had zero hope of healing until she met Jesus. In John chapter 5, a man had an infirmity for 38 years and was placed at the pool of Bethesda where an angel came down to stir the water once in a while and whoever stepped into it first was made whole. The problem is, this man was unable to get into the water on his own, which meant that there was basically no hope for him to get well.

I must say that watching the audition last week made me think of the little things that happen to us and how we emphasize them and blame God for them. And, no doubt, these ailments or conditions can be really inconveniencing and depriving of comfort or the ability to accomplish what our friends and other family members can accomplish. Some people may look at themselves as incomplete or very disadvantaged when compared to siblings and friends. However, when you see what other people go through in life, a thoughtful person could not but thank God that, while he or she may have own problems, they are not in the shoes of people with worse cases. A colleague recently told me what he was going through at home, and I must confess that I was scared. We see people daily and smile and shake hands with them but until you know what some go through in life, you may not be able to appreciate their maturity and ability to cope with real problems.

In 2 Corinthians 12:6-10, Paul wrote of the thorn in his flesh and how he prayed to God three times to remove the thorn, but God would not and instead told him that His grace was sufficient for him. In verses 8 and 9, Paul wrote:

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.

If you are suffering physical or emotional pain, there is absolutely no doubting the inconvenience and frustration that you are experiencing but please do not blame God or feel that He does not love you. I do not believe that anyone who lived after Job has experienced the kind of pain that he underwent in life, but he refused to curse God as advised by his own wife. This life is far from perfect, and we will face problems, pains, and thorns in our journeys, but there has never been anything more reliable than the love of God for us. We may not always get what we want, but He will never stop providing us what we need to cope with the challenges that we face daily. So, when next we are tempted to think of our own thorns as harder and sharper than the thorns of others, let us not forget that until we know what other people go through daily, we are not in a position to properly evaluate the challenges that we bear. Face challenges on earth we certainly would, but in John 16:33, Jesus told us to be of good cheer because He had overcome the world, for us. I pray that our loving God will stand by you without fail and help you to navigate every situation in your life and in the end, to overcome.

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 If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer:
 Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!
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