At first I wondered how a loving God would allow His child to suffer. Especially after the child cries in pain; pain that can be taken away by the father instantly. Then I looked at Paul, His ‘thorn in the flesh’ is one of the most famous afflictions in the Bible. We don’t even know what the thorn was, but it seemed painful. He confesses that the pain kept him from being conceited. He says that three times he pleaded with the Lord to take it away from him. But the Lord had a different answer for his plea.
‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.’ (2nd Cor 9-10)
I admire Paul’s attitude. He understood that sometimes God allows pain for His glory: To show His power and strength. I pray daily that God takes away the thorns in my life, the things that cause me hurt and pain. Sometimes He takes the pain away immediately, but when He doesn’t I pray that I find purpose in the pain; that the thorn in my flesh will make sense to me.
Maybe God has allowed that thorn in your life so that you are not destroyed by pride. Maybe He has allowed the thorn so that you can look back and notice the roses. The thorns do not mean that God is absent, they don’t mean that you are forgotten. They mean that a harvest is on the way. ‘No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.’ (Hebrews 12:11)
May the Lord be glorified through the thorn in your flesh. For when you are weak, then you are strong.