What is your thorn tonight? What is your problem?
I have a thorn in my side, which means I have a problem to walk through. We all have them. Some of us have chronic thorns which do not go away…just like Paul’s. Others of us get them from time to time and rip at our flesh, in the moment.
What the NLT version of the Bible calls a thorn in Paul’s flesh, the ICB calls a problem. I like this version it makes it more relatable to average people like me. It can cover many issues on a sliding scale. Here it is:
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
7 But I must not become too proud of the wonderful things that were shown to me. So a painful problem[a] was given to me. This problem is a messenger from Satan. It is sent to beat me and keep me from being too proud. 8 I begged the Lord three times to take this problem away from me. 9 But the Lord said to me, “My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, then my power is made perfect in you.” So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can live in me. 10 So I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles. All these things are for Christ. And I am happy, because when I am weak, then I am truly strong.
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Right now, my problem (thorn) that has me weak is my son’s depression. He has bipolar disorder and the depression is clinical level. He is on a down swing. I am weak. I have been as low as he goes, but praise God he has never been with me when it has happened. But that also gives him a false notion that I do not understand at all, even the slightest. This in turn makes him feel even more isolated and alone.
I do not have the words to say. There are no magic words. No two paths in depression have the same view. What works for one may not help another at all.
I have just written an article this week: Who do “they” say you are? In it, I proposed that we find out how we come off to those around us. Would others say we are believers by our actions and words, by how we carry our selves through trials? Well, now it is time to live it out.
After a long talk, listening to my son, I felt helpless. It is terrible to watch your child (or anyone) go so low. I have had 10 people in my life commit suicide, so I tend to get very alert and anxious when others go so low that their thoughts are deeply dark. There is a panic in me that gets afraid I will miss something, some warning.
This is my thorn right now. This is my problem. This is my weakness at the moment.
When my son went to go lay down, I jumped right to- What can I do? My next thought was “nothing, but I CAN pray”. That is the only choice I have.
It helps as I get older that prayer is not the LAST thing I go to. It isn’t always the first. But today it was, and I am grateful. I put my son on various prayer chains that I am a part of. He found out and got upset. But only God can intervene in this situation. Only God can give me the strength to deal and cope and continue on with life and not smother him with worry. Only God can give me the best possible words to say to my son in the best possible way at the best possible time.
On my own, I am weak. And I gladly admit that tonight. I am not strong in regard to this, not at all. But I know what the Word of God says, and I believe it. It says:
*that God will never leave me.
*That God sees my tears and is here with me, to comfort me.
*That the comfort God provides me at this time will one day be available for me to comfort others through something similar.
*It calls on me to trust in God and His ways.
*And it promises me in the scripture above that though I am weak—God will show up now and show His strength. I do not have to figure out how to be strong. God will be strong for me.
My prayer tonight is for you. Whatever you are walking through or crawling through. Whatever you thorn, your problem, that the reminders in green above will sink into your heart at your weakness and fill you with peace and God’s strength.
And I ask for your prayers. It is the best thing anyone can do for us right now. So if you have a moment– please lift us up.
Until Next Time~