2 Corinthians 12 must be one of the most powerful testimonies of God’s faithfulness in the whole of scripture. Paul, acknowledging the surpassing greatness of the revelations the Lord has shown him, goes on to say how a thorn in his flesh kept him from being conceited. He doesn’t say what the thorn is, only that he prayed for the Lord to remove it and the answer he received is one that we are all familiar with, “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Against all intuition and conventional wisdom, when we are overwhelmed and feel trapped and powerless, God’s power rests on us. Paul says in 2 Cor. 12:10, “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.” God left the thorn and gave Paul grace. Here “grace” means the presence of God. God’s presence sustained, comforted, and strengthened Paul to effectively bring the good news of Jesus Christ to a dark and lost world.
Do you know that your thorn, your weakness, makes room for God’s power? Only when you have nothing left of yourself — nothing left of your strength and your wisdom and understanding — can you begin to fully rely on the Lord. What is the thorn that is attracting your focus today? Is it an internal deficiency or an external discomfort that is disorienting you? Please look to Jesus Christ rather than the thorn. Consider Jesus and how his weakness brought about your redemption on the cross. Know that when we are weak, God’s strength is made perfect in us.