The thorn in your flesh

All sane humans wish that there was a vaccine for all forms of cancers. In fact, it would be for the good of humanity to have a vaccine for every terminal disease. Perpetual pain and suffering caused by these diseases would cease. 

Let us stretch our imaginations a bit. What if this kind of a vaccine would require a hundred injections of a 14 gauge needle? We would still go for it. Someone would argue that it is better to be injected a hundred times, with a 14 gauge needle and never get cancer than rejecting the injection and stand the chance of getting the disease.

Witnessing a child being vaccinated against immunisable diseases brings myriad imaginations to my mind. The yelling, the blood-curdling screams, and the quietness that follows astound.

Importance of vaccination

Vaccinations protect us from specific diseases that can make us very sick, disabled or even killed. They boost our body’s own defence system.

Most vaccines contain a little bit of a disease germ that is weak or dead. Having this little bit of the germ inside our bodies make our bodies defence system build antibodies to fight off this kind of germ. Antibodies help trap and kill germs that could lead to disease.

There are several ways to deliver the vaccine into the body. One of these is by use of a needle injection.

This is not something we like. A needle injection is not just a nightmare to kids, but to some of the adults too. However, we need it anyway: We have no choice.

God’s Vaccine

God has a way of delivering a vaccine into our spiritual life. He uses thorns (2 Cor. 12:7). He delivers the serum into our bodies using a thorn. And most of the time, He does not pull out the thorn as it is with human vaccination whereby a needle is pulled out after injection. He ensures the thorn remains in its place as long as He wishes.

The thorn vaccination has a purpose. Its principal aim is to ensure we remain humble. God knows that pride kills. It does not only kill but destroys; just like human diseases.

He did that to Paul of Tarsus. The great apostle Paul was inoculated with a thorn. It remained in his flesh for the rest of his life. It was meant to protect him from self-destruction.

God’s injection has 100% efficacy

Most of us have a thorn in our flesh. In fact, some of us have more than one thorn in our flesh. It cut us down to our right size. The sharp horns growing on your head must be trimmed. Your loud mouth must be tamed. Your bravado and braggadocio must be contained. 

This vaccine works all the time and in all the people. 

Pride goes before destruction, and one of the most effective ways God can protect us is by giving us an injection. 

And how do you know someone has not been vaccinated? 

They are pretentious, they look down upon fellows who they deem to be beneath their league. They pride in their gifts, talents, skills and education. To them, social class and status are more important than humans. They are quick to judge and condemn. They are self-righteous. They have reached and in no need of help or correction. 

However, a thorn injection from God is necessary and sufficient to shut them up. 

“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” A.W. Tozer

Moses, Paul, David, Hannah, Esther, Ruth and Daniel either lived the whole of their lives with a thorn in the flesh or experienced it at one point of their lives.

God’s way

It is a way that God uses to ensure that we don’t puff up or become full of ourselves. It reminds us that we are not perfect, and we will never gain perfection while still here on earth.

Take home

Do not be duped by the simpers you see on peoples’ faces; the calm, collected demeanour may be a subconscious ploy to mask the harsh realities tucked away from prying eyes of the public. Kwa ground vitu ni different! People carry a bold front but at the back rages First and Second World Wars combined. A fight is on. A struggle is ensuing. 

We implore God to remove the thorn but instead, He supplies grace to endure its sore. 

There is a scar we continuously carry. It places us in our rightful position whenever we feel like blowing our own horn. It reminds us of who we really are – sinners saved by grace. It cuts us to our precise sizes.

 Possibly we would be dreadfully conceited if God does not permit some level of control.

That thorn in our flesh is a blessing from God. It protects us from self-destruction. Praise God for that thorn in your flesh.

I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:5-10 (NIV).

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