2 minute read.
Thorns keep the heart in check.
Paul had some sort of thorn in his side. Scripture isn’t clear what exactly causes his discomfort, but it’s enough to beg God repeatedly to remove it. Finally, Paul resigns himself because whatever the thorn is, God isn’t taking it away. Instead, God uses the minor irritation to keep Paul humble.
Pride is a common struggle for us all. The definition of pride is a feeling of “deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements.” Think of how you feel after completing a monumental task. For me, finishing another year of writing daily devotionals gives me a sense of accomplishment. As I write throughout the year, I experience the same type of satisfaction on a smaller scale when I conclude another month. Pride is subtle; we don’t realize we’re its victim. Conceit is at the heart of a lot of issues in life. We easily forget the help God gives us in our daily lives. Because we fall prey to the negative emotion so quickly, God gives us thorns to keep us humble.
Thorns remind us of God.
Whatever Paul’s thorn was, he couldn’t remove it himself. If Paul could have pulled the irritant out, he would have. He needed God’s help to rid himself of the discomfort. God didn’t want to help. Paul repeatedly tells God about his problem. His thorn draws him into a deeper understanding of who God is. As Paul understands God’s grace and love more, his humility increases. But without the thorn, the conversation wouldn’t have begun.
Your thorns are a talking point with God. Like Paul, ask Him to remove them. If He doesn’t, maybe God’s using them in your life, like He did Paul’s. Humility is at the heart of love.
Lord, thank You for the thorns in our life that keep us humble. Forgive us for letting pride rear its ugly head in our lives. Thank You for the reminder; without You, we are nothing. Cultivate humble hearts in all of us. Help us lead with love as we go through our day. In all things, let us give You the glory. Let unexpected blessings fill the day ahead. IJNIP. Amen
Question for reflection
How is God using your thorns to keep you humble?