THORN IN THE FLESH
“...I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.” - 2 Corinthians 12:8
I still remember a prayer I said to the Lord from my childhood. I told Him something like: God, when I grow up and became successful please don’t let it change me or be boastful about it. From a very young age, I already have such a strong line of connection to the Father that I talk to Him this way. Perhaps just like any other innocent child that is close to the heart of Jesus. I have never forgotten about that prayer for so many reasons - 1) I was so sure that I will be a success. Contrary to how I am feeling about my life today. I always long for those days that my conviction as a child was even greater compared today that I am already an adult. I know more but I feel so much less; 2) The remarkable self-awareness. How could a child think of the possible changes a man will encounter when he set face-to-face with success? Let alone that it can make him boastful; and 3) The plain language - no sugar coating, no if’s, no buts, no embellishment - just plain straightforward words of a child talking to his Father. So far different from how I pray to God these days.
I’ve always been a struggling person and so as a Christian. My knowledge of the Lord has always been my shield for going beyond the boundaries and even after outdoing my limits has always been the gravity that pulls me back to the heart of Jesus. But my constant struggle is almost always attributed to the consistent source of continual annoyance/trouble or that of my thorn in the flesh. It has chased me in almost every stages of my life - from childhood to adolescent and now to my adulthood. What has change is how I viewed and dealt with it. Sure, today, I shed much lesser tears but I wrestle with the Lord to instead take it away from me. For if without it, I would have been better than best all along. Hence, just like as he spoke with Apostle Paul, he said to me:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” - 2 Corinthians 12:9
There are days that I feel so strong about my imperfection that I am so willing to unmask my public persona. And there are days that I just really want to evaporate from the system for I feel so filthy about everything in my life.
While I never really thought of myself as “perfect”, I always knew that I have strong tendencies of putting all my convictions at the pedestal. This is exactly why, whenever I am still aware of it, I strive to keep an open mind. Thus, inside my own head is a battlefield.
“Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” - 2 Corinthians 12:6-7
Somehow my thorns have kept me grounded. With these thorns, I will never be different from that of others. It has also been easier to be more accepting about the weaknesses of my brothers and sisters in the Lord. Looking straight into their heart not their sins. Just as how Jesus taught us the way it should be. Albeit, I am still not without blemish for there are days that I forget about my thorns and feel as if I am already set apart from the rest but my thorns linger for a reason. These thorns are reminder of my weaknesses and imperfections and how it should set as an example for others to avoid and to keep going with the Lord. It also proves that there is only one way to the Father and that is in Christ Jesus.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” - Romans 5:8
I am weak! So weak that I tend to eat my own puke at times. So weak that I defy my own beliefs. So weak that I backslide over and over and over again. But Jesus, the perfecter of my faith, has already paid the price of my sins. “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.” - 2 Corinthians 12:10
I am opening the doors of my heart. I wish to see you knock on my door here: https://www.mrikigai.com/ask-me/faith-1. See you soon!