Thorn in the flesh

All sane humans wish that there was a vaccine for cancer. It would be for the good of humanity to have a vaccine for every terminal disease. Constant pain and suffering would cease. What if this kind of a vaccine would require one to be injected with a 14 gauge needle? We would still go for it. It would be logical to be injected with a 14 gauge needle and never get cancer than reject it and risk a cancer punishment.

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

Vaccinations protect us from specific diseases that can make us very sick, disabled or even killed. They boost our body’s 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 a nightmare to some of us. But 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 away the thorn as it is the case with human vaccination whereby a needle is pulled out after injection. He ensures the thorn remains in its place for the better part of our lives.

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 that remained in his flesh for the rest of his life. It was meant to protect him from self-destruction.

Most of us have a thorn in our flesh. It cut us down to our true size. Pride goes before destruction and one of the most effective ways God can protect us is by giving us an injection. Moses could not communicate fluently. Paul pleaded with God to take away the thorn in vain. David was just a shepherd. Hannah had Peninah to torment her. Esther was fatherless. Ruth was a foreigner and a poor widow. Daniel, on some occasions, faced death. These chaps either lived their whole lives with a thorn in the flesh or experienced it at one point of their lives.

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 here on earth. It is a reminder that we ought to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Do not be fooled by the smiles 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. People carry a bold front but at the back rages First and Second World War combined. A fight is on. A struggle is ensuing. We implore God to remove the thorn but instead He supplies grace to endure its pain. There is a scar we constantly carry. It places us in our rightful position whenever we feel like blowing our own horn. It reminds us of who we are – sinners saved by grace. It cuts us to our right 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. Thank God for that thorn in your flesh.

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