“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-12). I can sympathize with Paul, thorn’s hurt. One time, while playing carpenter, I stabbed a good size chunk of splinter under my thumbnail. Yes Paul, that thorn under my nail buffeted me every minute of the day until it came out.
Paul’s affliction could have been anything, but most believe, with sufficient evidence, that Paul had an eye affliction. His vision, most likely, was poor for whatever reason. Could it have been a direct result from his Damascus Road experience with the Lord Jesus? Paul needed some humbling and God put some ‘stuff’ on him. I thank God that He inflicts things upon us for our own good (although we may not feel that it is). For many years, prior to my own Damascus Road experience, I suffered my particular thorn. I can emphasize with Paul, as it was one of the most painful times of my life. I prayed for God to take it (I was not yet saved). I now know God had allowed this time in my life to humble me and bring me to Jesus. Lord knows I needed it. Paul and I had prayed to God to remove our thorns, but He chose not to in His infinite wisdom.
Who knows, if God removed Paul’s thorn he may not have felt compelled to write/witness as much as he did. His thorn allowed God’s strength to be manifested in his life. Likewise, had God removed my thorn, I wouldn’t be where I am today. How about you? Everyone one of us has a thorn. Have you identified yours yet? When you do, glorify God for it as His power will be manifested in your life too!