Redeeming the Thorn

pain.jpgJournal entry from November 28, 2008

“My eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.  Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statues” (Ps. 119:123-124).

The Great Sadness, slowly but surely, is lifting.  God has been good to bring more light and grace to me every day despite my near inability to pray, to read his Word, or do much else besides focus on family and ministry.  I have been having some really great days with Owen recently.  He is so energetic lately, and loves to throw his ball around and chase me and have me chase him back.  Ministry has been less busy than normal since Monday, so I’ve been able to enjoy some longer mornings with him, and they have been a buoy to me.

Still, I get the sense that this pain will remain—perhaps always.  I believe it will be like a bit of shrapnel—the wound it made healing fully, but the flesh closing around the shard, so that the wrong kind of movement will cause sharp, piercing (if momentary) pain.  I am reminded of Paul’s thorn—this unknown (to us) painful event or person that Paul pleaded for the Lord to remove from his consciousness.  The Lord, instead, asked Paul to trust in his grace, and used the thorn to keep Paul humble (2 Cor. 12:1-10).  I believe that this will be my thorn.  I will plead with the Lord to remove it, but I doubt he will because the power of it to humble me is so incredibly potent.  That humility, I trust, will serve me, him, and his people well.  The edifice of pride that has slowly, but inexorably, been growing in me has been razed to the ground by the stark, undeniable reality of my weakness.

How the Lord could ever use such a weak person is beyond me. But I hope I will be another in the long line of weak men that God has used since Abraham.


One thought on “Redeeming the Thorn”

  1. Bro, thanks so much for sharing your heart. I’m thankful that one of the many graces of the Body of Christ is that we’ve been given brothers to lean on, to call upon for intercession, and to hold us up and affirm our identity in Christ in times of trials and testing. You are loved, my friend…in the midst of your weakness and pain.

    Oh, and Caribou says “hi” while shaking his tail enthusiastically.

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