2 Corinthians 12:7-10, “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
The Apostle Paul, arguably the most influential figure in the New Testament outside of Jesus Christ Himself. In my eyes, when reviewing the life of Paul and the many things that He endured after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus, I would personally say he is strong. Yet, in his view of things, and he knows himself better than I know him, he would boldly proclaim his weakness. If Paul considers himself to be weak, then what in the world am I?
Paul was given a thorn in his side by the Sovereign God of all grace, as Paul would put it, as a means to keep him humble. It is widely debated what this “thorn” that he is referring to actually is, and for the purpose of this blog it is beside the point. Nonetheless, there was something that continually hindered him that the Sovereign God would not remove as it placed Paul’s complete dependence upon the Lord.
What is my thorn? In contemplating in my mind what I would consider my thorn, I have boiled it down to one thing: me. I cannot pin point anything specific that I would name my thorn outside of my entire being. My flesh is weak, prideful, hateful, selfish, desiring all of the things that are not of God, thus, my thorn that I battle on a regular basis is me!
In reflecting on my flesh, I am grateful that I have been redeemed and that the Spirit of the Living God dwells within me, but in I still possess this flesh suit which desires the things of this world. Regardless, this is where I find myself today and everyday. My constant state of being is a condition that I refer to as “in need of grace.” I live everyday of my life “in need of grace.” There is never a moment in my entire existence to which I am not in the state of “in need of grace.” I am in this state continually, and the best part about it is that Paul was in the same position. As I am in this condition 24/7 the greatest comfort of all is that I know I am in this position and I know the One that continues to shed this grace upon me. I am 100% totally dependent upon Christ for every single thing. From the smallest of things to the biggest of things. I am capable of nothing on my own apart from the overwhelming grace of God. I cannot breathe without Christ, I cannot see without Christ, I cannot hear without Christ, I cannot speak without Christ, I cannot eat without Christ, I cannot walk without Christ, I cannot type this blog without Christ, I cannot do anything on my own without the overwhelming power of Christ!
Be “in need of grace.” Why? Because if you realize you are in need of grace because of your sinful condition apart from Christ and you turn to Him in repentance and faith, you will receive that grace every second of everyday and on into eternity. Amen!