Thorns and weaknesses
Being often troubled by thorns and weaknesses that plague me and do not go away just to list a few would be impatience, pride and low self-esteem. I find that there is a lot of meaning in the following text from Scripture:
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 “Wherefore, so that I should not get above myself, I was given a thorn in the flesh, a messenger from Satan to batter me and prevent me from getting above myself. About this, I have three times pleaded with the Lord that it might leave me; but he has answered me, ‘My grace is enough for you: for power is at full stretch in weakness.’ It is, then, about my weaknesses that I am happiest of all to boast, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me;”
I often find that I feel uncomfortable with the many mistakes, failures and setbacks I face in life, and even when I do get success and do well I still feel unsatisfied. I find that this irritation with myself affects my relationship with God and family and friends. The thorns of being impatient and wanting perfection are thorns and weaknesses for me. Sometimes I also find myself judging others when I do not want to, or comparing with others unwillingly, and this causes irritation within.
I recall the Lord saying in Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the great log in your own? And how dare you say to your brother, “Let me take that splinter out of your eye,” when, look, there is a great log in your own? Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.”
I find that the root cause of all this for me is the failure to love, forgive and accept others, accept self or make right decisions due to moments when I lack Faith, Hope and Love. For this I find that the following prayer to God in the Psalms expresses what I feel best, Psalm 50(51):1-2 “Have mercy on me, O God, in your faithful love, in your great tenderness wipe away my offences; wash me clean from my guilt, purify me from my sin.”
In spite of all our sins and failures, we must never give up but trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father and Holy Spirit, for I trust that He will help us who desire to follow Him to live lives of love and holiness to become holy, just as He did with the Apostles, the Prophets and the Saints. I know I need to allow the Lord’s grace to work in my life more than before, to conform myself to the Lord’s call to be His disciple, to turn away from past ways, just as the Holy Spirit tells us in the following texts from the Apostolic epistles,
Romans 12:2 “ Do not model your behaviour on the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and mature.”
1 Peter 1:13-16 “Your minds, then, must be sober and ready for action; put all your hope in the grace brought to you by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Do not allow yourselves to be shaped by the passions of your old ignorance, but as obedient children, be yourselves holy in all your activity, after the model of the Holy One who calls us, since scripture says, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’”
Some reflection questions to consider getting a direction in one’s life:
Who am I serving? Is it the Lord or other people or things or self? Where is the treasure that I seek? Is it the Lord’s kingdom that I am building or my own?
The Lord bless us and keep us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.