I sat in the church on a hard wooden pew leaning as close to the rail as I could get, as if it would help me hear her better. She preached about Paul and his thorn.
I know a lot about them. Physical thorns, mental thorns…imposed thorns, self-imposed thorns. But as I tried to focus I couldn’t shake knowing Paul prayed three times for God to remove his thorn and each request was denied.
And with that knowledge I realized, once again, letting go of what I want to embrace His desires for me is hard business.
Paul was doing the work with his thorn. Therefore his was committed to working for the kingdom. But if only “I could do it without this pain in my side”…I imagine him thinking.
The passage speaks of God’s strength being made known to its fullest capacity in our weakness. Weakness that exposes us to our limited ability absent God’s grace. Weakness that exposes our insecurities and hangups. Weakness that defies the world saying “focus on your strengths…”.
So why would we want to hold on to it? Why not give it to Him? We don’t want it anyway. Who wants to be always be depressed? Or angry? Or timid? Or slow? Or fearful? Or…fill in your weakness…
I’d rather be courageous. Strong. Humble. Forgiving. Fearless.
But most days I am more my weakness than my strength in Him because quite honestly my weakness is what I know. I know how to work around my weaknesses. We have history. I may not like the history but I’ve learned to live with it.
Some days my history is my membership card. My “I’m a woman” or “I’m black” or “I’m overweight” or “I’m ….
I use this card to hold me back. To not attempt…the impossible. To lean more into my understanding instead of my faith in Him and His finished work.
Letting Go is Hard
So letting go is hard. I have to let go of this stuff…free my hands…to make room for the unknown.
And I realized BINGO…it is the unknown that stops me.
Who doesn’t love certainty?
I do…heck I’ll raise my hands two times for creating a plan and it working exactly as I hope. But how many times have you made a plan, and God exceeds your expectations. I have…and boy was is amazing to witness.
In our letting go of our expectations and clinging to Him it moves us from the merely possible in our effort to impossible through His power. My effort and His power are NEVER on the same level. The mere infinite nature of who He is means it will NEVER be because even when He is working through me He is the source.
And in His love for us…His awesome love…beckons us to come and let My strength engulf your weakness. His strength makes itself known when we let go.
Letting Go is Necessary
I know now it is never meant to be easy or else the choice would be simple. No…dear one…the choice should be clear but hard. We must want to choose Him at all times, in all circumstances.
What is so interesting about this thought…His power never ceases. Which means it is always present. However, when we are strong we think “we got it”. We don’t need His help. Yet in His Sovereignty He still says come to me…and I’ll give you rest.
Therefore we do not have the power to dispose our thorns. But we have the choice to trust that His strength is all the certainty we need. I believe it is in our trusting that our thorns cease to exist although their present is not forgotten.
Will you trade your weakness for His strength? Your focused attention on your thorn for His comfort, His peace, His promises that in Him everything will work for your good?
Today I will…let go and let God. Will you?
[shareable cite=”Dana Pittman” text=”I believe it is in our trusting that our thorns cease to exist… – @DanaPittman “]I believe it is in our trusting that our thorns cease to exist although their present is not forgotten.[/shareable]
[reminder]Will you trade your weakness for His strength? [/reminder]