Last week, I had started writing some spiritual goals for myself based on 1 Cor. 13:4-8 and shared five of these goals in this post. The day after that post, I had a meltdown of sorts...basically I unraveled into a puddle of depression...you can read that lovely (nearly incoherent) post here.
All week I have wondered how to write a post with the rest of my goals and I even considered just axing the idea. But today during our worship service these words written in 2 Corinthians penetrated my heart and permitted hope to permeate my weary soul and provide refreshment.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 - NIV (emphasis mine)
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me 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.
I am not comparing myself to the apostle Paul except to say that I too have an issue, a thorn in my flesh. In fact, I have several issues that I have begged God to take from me. And while I have great faith that He will one day restore me, I do not think I will see that day come here on this earth. But at the same time, I'm not left in despair.
To continue with Paul's vernacular, the three thorns that stick deep inside my tissue and rub against bone are fear, pride, and selfishness. And, as you know, those three aliments can cause infection and breed a series of diseases to eat away ones spirit. Yet that is the beauty of the verse above.
Left to my own vices I would remain a miserable creature. Continuously, I fail, but His love is infallible. As I cling to the hem of Jesus' robe, sobbing and unable to stand, He helps me to my feet. He wipes my tears, casts away the thoughts that frighten me, steadies my balance, and feeds me truth. It is then and only then when I am strong.
(Part 3 is coming)