DiscoverWinning with the Word“Ouch! There’s a Thorn in My Flesh!”
“Ouch! There’s a Thorn in My Flesh!”

“Ouch! There’s a Thorn in My Flesh!”

Update: 2020-01-13
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WINNING WITH THE WORD
“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.
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Is there someone in your life who rubs you the wrong way? Well, if so, you're not alone.
We've all had people in our lives who have rubbed us the wrong way. Of course, we rarely, if ever. think that WE rub someone the wrong way? That would be too humble of us, wouldn't it?
Several years ago, I worked with a person who made life difficult for me. This person was harsh and unkind, and confusion often reigned in our communication. The more I tried to clarify, the worse the communication became.
I had hired and signed a contract with this person to achieve a professional goal. But the person seemed to be standing in the way of my achieving that goal by sowing confusion in our communication. In short, this person had become a thorn in my flesh!
Or, so I thought.
(By the way, if you haven't experienced a thorn in the flesh yet, you will. So file away for future reference what I'm about to share with you.)
Now, in all fairness to the person, I must say that the opposition was not intentional. But it was there, nonetheless. Yet, given the contract I had signed, I had no other recourse but to put up with the situation and to make the best of it.
Day by day, as I engaged with this person, I found myself getting more and more stressed. I complained to the Lord that this person was an obstacle to my achieving my goal.
To my great surprise, the Lord answered me with these words: "This person is not an obstacle, but a vehicle."
A vehicle?
Surely I had misunderstood and misheard the Lord.
But I had not misheard Him. He had simply shown me once again that His ways are higher than my ways.
Okay, Lord, I replied. "As always, you're right. But how is this person a vehicle and not an obstacle in my life?"
The Lord said, "This person is a vehicle to my making you like Jesus. That's been your prayer, hasn't it? That I would make you like Jesus. Well, I've placed this person in your life to polish your rough edges. And you have many of them, you know."
Gulp! Have you ever wanted to run into a cave and hide? Then you know how I felt.
With great sincerity of heart, I asked the Lord to forgive me of my selfish, arrogant attitude and to help me view this person as a vehicle to God's shaping me into the image of Christ. Now, years later, I can see how that person's presence in my life revealed the huge flaws in me that I needed to deal with in order to become more and more like Jesus.
Perhaps you, too, have a person or a situation in your life that is your thorn in the flesh. A person or situation that seems to be holding you back from what you want, that seems to be standing in the way of a goal you want to achieve. If so, stop and reconsider. Perhaps the very person or situation you think is an obstacle is actually a vehicle to something far better for your life. Something good you would miss if you didn't have that thorn in the flesh.
So, why does God give each of us a thorn in the flesh?
Here are three key reasons:
1. A thorn in the flesh polishes us. Thorns scratch at us, removing bits of harmful debris. Thorns polish us, removing our rough edges. Thorns prick us, instigating us to righteous living.
2. A thorn in the flesh keeps us dependent on God. When things aren't going swimmingly—as our British friends say—we tend to go to God for help.
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“Ouch! There’s a Thorn in My Flesh!”

“Ouch! There’s a Thorn in My Flesh!”

MaryAnn Diorio