Wednesday, October 15, 2008

embracing thorns

you may have heard paul speak of the "thorn in his flesh."
..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 from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12 7-9

many of us have one (maybe more than one). i don't know about you, but i too have BEGGED God to take mine from me.

my thorn twists and turns, reminding me of the wounds of an abandoned little girl, that same girl now 34 years old, who still struggles to believe she is worthy of love.

i use to hate my thorn.
i was tired of being weak, because in my weakness i am the ugliest version of myself; insecure, needy, desperate, grabbing, hopeless, defeated...

but God will NOT take it. we've talked (mostly, i've cried), and He has flat out said, "no."
He has told me that though i see that my thorn makes me the ugliest version of myself, He sees that it it makes me the most beautiful version of myself.

there is always a point when i give up, and give my wounded self to Him.
and there my Father God does His Daddy thing, HE AMAZES ME WITH HIS GRACE, and LOVES me. He tells me who i am, and calls me "worthy."

there is nothing like living in this LOVE here, NOTHING!


so i will embrace my thorn, because it causes me to depend on my Father, who embraces me, with LOVE that is higher, wider, longer, and deeper than i can grasp or imagine.

"I cannot tell you how surprised I was the first time I felt my heart begin to warm.
It was real warmth, too, not imaginary, and it felt as if it were actually on fie. I was astonished at the way the heat surged up and how this new sensation brought great and unexpected comfort...
Once i realized that it came entirely from within, that this fire of love had no cause, material or sinful, but was the gift of my Maker, I was absolutely delighted, and wanted my love to be even greater. And this longing was all the more urgent because of the delightful effect and the interior sweetness which this spiritual flame fed into my soul. Before the infusion of this comfort, I had never thought that we exiles could possibly have known such warmth, so sweet was the devotion it kindled. It set my soul aglow as if a real fire was burning there."

From The Fire of Love by Richard Rolle (a.k.a. St. Richard the Hermit)


  1. You are the strong one... the others who have passed through your life and abandoned you are the weak ones. Stay strong.


  2. The worst place to be is to think that we are something when we are really nothing. I think God leaves the thorns where they are to keep us close and abiding and right where we belong. Without thorns and scars and broken pieces, we forget. Without pain, we forget to cry out. Makes me long for Heaven.

  3. Oh, Denise - this is one of many of your posts that has touched me - deeply. What an amazing testimony to the faithfulness and loving-kindness of the Father!

    I, too, am learning to embrace my thorns....with God holding me all the way.

    You have encouraged me today - thank you!

  4. Funny you should post this, because yesterday I spent a lot of time thinking about one of my thorns......reliving the pain of it......feeling sorry for myself......I needed to read this today....thank you

  5. Oh to be able to embrace those thorns and use them as a means to draw closer to Him....

    encouraging words denise.

  6. Right to the heart of what I've been dealing with this week (thanks to "Breaking Free," of course). Having to deal with my thorns totally makes me want to RUN away from hurts, but I need to give thanks for them, for oh how they reveal His awesome grace that is more than sufficient! :)