Bible Society of South Africa
Benescke Janse van Rensburg

A new start – Day 16

A new start … Start thanking God for the thorns in your life

Bible text(s)

7But to keep me from being puffed up with pride because of the many wonderful things I saw, I was given a painful physical ailment, which acts as Satan's messenger to beat me and keep me from being proud. 8Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked him to take it away. 9But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ's power over me.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9GNBOpen in Bible reader

On the farm in the Free State where I grew up, as children, we often played barefoot outside during summer. A problem, however, arose when we wanted to venture into the field and thorn bushes on the ground suddenly obstructed our path. In this case, either we had to head back home to fetch shoes in order to walk over the thorns or we had to rely on someone with shoes to pick us up and carry us over the thorns, to where we could walk with ease.

In life, thorn bushes might sometimes obstruct our path – or even worse, it might feel as if thorns are stuck in our flesh. The thorns come in the form of a difficult spouse, an illness that steals your joy, a desire for a baby of your own, a financial difficulty or a challenge at work.

Have you noticed what happens in the midst of these challenging times? We often run back to God. We pray more desperately, as we realise that only God can give us a breakthrough. When we receive the breakthrough, we thank God and witness to the people around us that God indeed answered our prayers. The truth is, thorns draw us closer to God and help us to discover his love and care for us.

Paul also experienced a thorn in his flesh. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 he wrote: “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. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’”

What are the thorns obstructing your path today? Remember, God can pick you up and carry you through your challenge. He can put shoes on your feet and ease your pain. Therefore, let us thank him for the thorns. You might just look back upon this time in your life and realise that you truly discovered God’s incredible love for you in a new way. God bless.

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