Thorns

            The Apostle Paul was the greatest preacher ever. His obedience and sacrificial service to Jesus is something that we should all imitate. There is no doubt that when he was beheaded for his Savior the next thing, he heard was his Heavenly Father saying, “Well done My good and faithful servant.”

            Yes, Paul was a great man of God. And yet he suffered from what he called, “a thorn in the flesh.” What was this “thorn in the flesh”?  No one knows. It could have been an illness, a deformity, blindness or anything that affected his physical body. 

            There is one thing that I have never heard anyone else suggest. Maybe Paul’s thorn in the flesh was an addiction. Maybe he was addicted to alcohol or drugs or food or even porn. Some people would say; “Paul could not have had an addiction because he was a Godly man.” Yes, he was a Godly man but he was not a perfect man, He had faults and his faults made him feel like he was ” the chief of sinners”.  God does not use perfect people; He uses broken people. Especially those with thorns in their flesh.

            The Bible does not answer every question, and that is a good thing. It is a fact that all Christians struggle with sin, even the Godliest among us. All of us have a thorn in the flesh of some kind. We do not know what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was. But we do know that God’s grace was sufficient for Paul and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

            The blessing of the Bible not giving us all the answers is this; not knowing what Paul suffered, we can identify with him in our suffering. When we feel wretched and wonder who will deliver us from this body of death, we can thank God for Jesus Christ our Lord. Because God’s grace was sufficient for Paul’s thorn in the flesh and it is still sufficient for yours.

Douglas Huff 

From Down Where the Pavement Ends