The “it” that the Apostle Paul is referring to is the “thorn in his flesh, a messenger from Satan” mentioned in verse 7. He is not talking about a literal thorn in his flesh. If it were only that easy. No, he is talking about this thing, this issue, this struggle that continues to hang onto him. Day in and day out.
How many times have I asked, begged the Lord to remove my own thorn. Oh, I have one. You do, too, I’m sure. After 45 years, it is still not gone. It’s still there. Still a daily battle I have to fight. Because my flesh is strong and it wants what it wants.
Paul goes on to say in verse 10 that he is glad to boast about his weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through him. Never once have I boasted in this weakness. Never. I have always just tolerated it and prayed it away. Never once have I taken pleasure in my weakness. Maybe that’s my next step toward freedom from this thorn. Maybe I need to be more boastful in how weak I am because that is when Christ’s power works best.
Will my thorn ever be removed? I am not sure. But I do believe that when I begin to boast in my weakness, God will show his majestic muscles off and display his might and splendor. I, for one, want to see that happen. In my life. In your life.
Takeaway: What’s your thorn? What continues to bombard and overwhelm you? Meditate on this passage in 2 Corinthians 12. Ask God to help you boast in this weakness. And while you’re at it, meditate on these verses as well: James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-7; Galatians 6:9; and Hebrews 12:1-2. Write them down. Dig into them. Memorize them. Find hope in them.