Our Thorn In The Flesh


So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

~2 Corinthians 12:7, NLT


By trials God is shaping us for higher things.

~Jeremy Taylor

Psalm 52-59 is a series of prayers or songs written by David and all but two have something to do with Saul who out of a jealous rage took it upon himself to persecute David. After Saul makes three attempts to assassinate the future king, David takes flight. He goes first to Samuel and the priest but they could not give him sanctuary so he goes to Gath. After realizing that he had made a mistake, he pretends to be insane and escapes from Gath to the cave of Adullam, a spacious cavern larger enough for a small army. For over a decade Saul hunted David and does everything in his power to make David’s life miserable.

Practically every servant of God has had an antagonist, a human thorn in the flesh. Moses had Dathan and Abiram. Elijah had Jezebel. Jesus had the Pharisees who dogs His every step. Paul had the unbelieving Jews who followed him from city to city, organizing riots {Community Organizers}. Practically every pastor has that one deacon who seems to enjoy being the devil’s advocate. Of course we all respond like David; we want God to crush our foes and to rid us of all antagonism and opposition. Naturally, we want a calm sea and smooth sailing but God does not remove the thorn. He does not eliminate the antagonist. Why is this? Does God have a good reason for not removing our adversary?

If you join the Marines and go to Paris Island, do you think it will be calm seas and smooth sailing or do you suppose your drill Sargent might be just a little antagonizing? Is there a reason for his antagonism? He is forging a fighting machine out of a young man who is barely dry behind the ears. There is a crucible, there is misery pain and suffering and all at the hand of this hateful taskmaster they call a Sargent. I know several Marines and I’ve never heard one talk about their D.I. with affection. Of course we do not want to face antagonism. It is human nature to want comfort and ease but it is not God’s way. God uses the antagonist to hone us, teach us and to get us on our knees. Unhindered success and all blue skies would inflate our pride. Our thorns keep us humble. They are a constant reminder of the weakness of our flesh. I am almost to the point that I can say, “Thank God for the thorns.”

According to Rick and Bubba, the president has the virus. Virus or not, we need to pray for him everyday. The virus is not going away and the silly mask are not going to stop it. Like the flu, the virus is probably with us from now on and I have little doubt that it will skip this household. One of these days, one of us will come down with it. We have to decide how we are going to live our remaining days: in fear or in faith. Are we going to exist or live? We preachers keep talking about how great heaven is but we keep going to doctors. If heaven is all that great, why are we afraid? I for one think physical death is a promotion. I agree with C.S., “What lies before us is infinitely better than anything behind us.” Jesus saves the best for last. Can you imagine being free of sin, suffering, death, anxiety, guilt and regret? Oh that will be glory for me!

Have A Great Weekend!

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