Have you ever had a splinter? Admittedly, I haven’t had one in a very long time but for some reason, it seems like I always had them as a kid. I would work as hard as I possibly could to try to get those splinters out because I knew if I couldn’t, my mom would have to help. And her help involved a pair of tweezers! Ouch!
Splinters are not fun, but even worse, can you imagine having a thorn in your side?! Even the thought of that makes me flinch a little. Every direction you move would remind you of that thorn because of the excruciating pain injected into your body. Imagine you did everything possible to remove that thorn and nothing worked. You yanked, you pulled, you even enlisted the help of a friend (make sure it’s a good friend though 🙂 ) and unfortunately, nothing. That thorn is not budging. You’re stuck with it.
Our friend Paul in the Bible was in this very situation. We’re not told of what the “thorn” in his side was, but I believe it’s safe to assume and gather that whatever he was dealing with was not comfortable.
I bet if I asked you to think of at least five things in life, (let’s take COVID-19 out of the picture for just a moment because we all know we can add that to the top of the list) I’m sure you could come up with five things in less than a minute. Work issues. Relationship issues. School issues. Financial issues. Issues on top of issues. The list could really be endless, right?
So, what do you do then when you can’t seem to get rid of “that thing?” That “thing” that just won’t get better or go away. That “thing” that, if you think about it too much, can cause you to ask the question “will it EVER get better?” That “thing” that, if you’re honest, causes you to question God at times.
I’ll be open and honest and share one of my long-standing thorns. Infertility has always been the thorn in my side. I went through it all. Procedures. Surgeries. In-vitro. Self-injections. Massive feelings of hope that more times than not ended with massive feelings of disappointment. God saw fit to bless me with one child. My daughter Jadyn is beyond an amazing blessing and gift to say the very least. I struggled often with God with this thorn, but it took me some tears and years to fully understand this was going to have to be something I learned to live with and accept. And through this acceptance, I have gotten stronger in my weakness.
God tells us ever so lovingly that His grace is sufficient for us. Second Corinthians says it this way. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV). Let me put this plainly. When we are weak, we can and will find strength in God. He tells us that His strength comes into its own in our weakness. Truthfully, we all need a “thing” or two in our lives that will keep us on our knees in prayer.
Sometimes bad things just happen and there’s really no good explanation as to why. As a very good friend helped me to understand, all bad things that happen to us are not always caused by God or Satan for that matter. But what we have to learn to do is discern and be sensitive to know when God is trying to tell or show us something.
We all need a “thing” to keep us humbled and sometimes that may be the reason why we have it. We may have it to remind us that we truly are weak when compared to God. But His promise is this—no matter how weak we may feel, we can still gain strength through Jesus.
God has shown Himself strong to me more times than I can count. I have cried out to Him on numerous occasions, not just about the infertility, but for so many other things. Yet through it all, I have found strength. I can tell you that He has never let me down. He has held me up on my strongest days, but more importantly, He has carried me on my weakest days. It may not seem like it right in the moment when you’re going through something difficult, but looking back, that’s exactly what He was doing.
I encourage you today to spend some time thinking about those areas in your life that cause you to feel weak. Those areas that cause you ask the simple question we all ask in life—“Why?” And think about that thing that has caused you to even doubt God. Let me let you in on a little secret. You’re still standing (which means He’s been with you all along). You may not be standing where you want to be or maybe even how you want to be standing, but you are still standing.
Strength comes from weakness. I have learned to trust God in the small things and the big things. There are still days I question why and wonder why this thorn, and others, are in my side. But then I simply remember four simple words—My grace is sufficient.