In 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul describes what he calls a “thorn in the flesh”. I would say most of us have this “thorn”. Some scholars believe it was Paul’s eyesight. I seem to think it was difficult people in ministry. I believe Paul did not say what it was so any of us could relate to the principles behind this thorn.
My thorn is anxiety and depression. They have recently been more of a challenge. Over the weekend, I reached out to a pastors group on Facebook. These pastors gave me some wonderful insight that has helped me so much. They reminded me to embrace the thorn.
Embrace the thorn…sounds comfortable, right? I’m imaging a counselor saying to me in a soft-spoken tone, “Embrace the thorn. Be one with the thorn.” The point is that I can use it as a tool to help others rather than a curse. So, this weekend, I did just that. I preached for the first time in almost a year and a half. In that message, I shared a little bit of my struggle. It felt good to admit it.
I’m going to close this post with a teaching message I gave on the subject in July 2012. You will see I am sitting down in this message. I was just diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder within two weeks of preaching this message. I was still struggling, but I was going to do my best to deliver God’s message. I did not mention my diagnosis in the message, but I believe the principles can be of help. Whatever thorn is in your flesh, I pray you can come to the point of embracing it.