May 7, 2010

My Thorn

I was doing my Bible study this morning when God cleared something up for me. Something that I have had all wrong...for years. Don't you love it when that happens? A good kick in the "know it all" rear.

So here it is, the story in the Bible about Paul having the thorn in his flesh. The one where he has this malady that is likely a physical hardship. It burdens him for his entire life and this is the conclusion he makes about it:

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NIV)

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.

Through Paul's suffering and ours, Christ is able to shine. In our weakness, we are made strong--through Christ. Yes. I got all of that. AMAZING, for sure. However, this truth in all of it's magnificent wonder, is not the truth that was revealed to me today.

You see, in the moments of frustration, desperation, despair that so often accompany being overweight, I have found myself many times at this conclusion: My thorn is my fat. I am just destined to be fat...for God's glory of course.

What? How can God get glory because I am fat? How can I be made strong in my fat? How can His grace be sufficient enough for my fat?

My conclusion for all these years has been dead wrong. I am not destined to be fat. My thorn is not fat. The thorn is a compulsive, fleshly desire to fill an empty hole in my spirit with food. That will always be something that afflicts me. I will always have that to deal with.

God's strength is made perfect when I allow His power to overtake my will and make it His own. I can spend the rest of my life boasting in my weakness because He is making me strong! He is taking away the fat, but not the thorn. The thorn will always be there to remind me just WHO HE IS and WHAT HE HAS DONE and continues to do FOR ME.

Not really knowing that it was my thorn, I have asked the Lord many times to remove it (the desire to eat all the time) just as Paul asked for his thorn to be removed. The Lord answered me when he answered Paul, "My grace is enough."

Yes, Lord, it certainly is.


{Absolutely, Positively} Josie said...

and that understanding is revolutionary! Keelie, i have had the same kind of thought, myself. i tried to convince myself for so long that food was my only vice; just my own personal could-be-worse thorn. but when i'm honest with myself, i see that reasoning was yet another excuse to pig out to please the flesh. and that food is most certainly not my only vice.

perhaps my favorite part of all this is that we can boast in our weakness. no need to deny or hide! i believe i will deal with my own compulsive, destructive, flesh-pleasing thoughts the rest of my life. but that's not failure; BEATING them is a battle worth fighting, and the victory is in Jesus.


Sylvia said...

All I can say is WOW. Thanks for this post!!

James said...

Awesome post! I too have struggled with weight and exercise my whole life. Last summer I trained for a sprint triathlon that I completed in Sept. My scripture that kept me going was "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Ether 12:27 I went from not being able to run a mile to running seven with out stopping. He did make my "weakness" a "strength."
Anne (mom of James)

Deb Willbefree said...

Love that. Although,I've never thought that fat was my thorn, it never occurred to me that the desire to overeat was. Just never occurred to me. So many things have fallen into place with that little revelation.

I knew that this journey to lose weight was different than past attempts. I knew that this weight loss attempt was so much more than a diet.

That this struggle, this time, would be used to grow me spiritually--really more than it would reduce me physically. I just knew this time it was about God.

And when I read this post, I had an 'aha' moment, a "There it is." kind of thing. Threads of thoughts and posts and Scriptures wove together in an instant.

Hmm, well I won't write my own post here. chuckle.

But this has got me going! Thanks.


Virginia said...

Thank you Keelie because not only does this fit with me but it reminds me of other areas of strife that I'm struggling with at the moment and perhaps if I apply the same thought then I too can not only accept my 'thorn' but also accept that my weakness is indeed my strength. Thank you for such an amazing insight and for leading back along a blessed path - for that I am truly grateful!

Crystal said...

wow, amen sister...isn't it funny how God speaks to us sometimes!!

cmoursler said...

oh hoooo....yes.
VEry good.
I got the idea a few years ago that my fat was a heart issue...and it was.

Gen said...

Great post. "For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Flabby McGee said...

Wow. Good post. I've never put God together with weight loss. I guess I've always felt like it was a vain thing - therefore I had no business asking God to help me out with that one. I"m going to have to rething that one.

Jess said...

Nice post! Thanks for sharing.

Joy said...

Thanks for sharing your insights! Loved your perspective. I, too, have often thought that the fat was my thorn. Great way to view this through different eyes!

Brandy said...

Man, I'm gonna have to remember that. We want to blame the thing and not us. We want the food to be evil, but all food is blessed in his name. It is our desire in the wrong thing that turns us away. God is always there waiting for us to fall into his arms instead of the KFC bucket! God is too good!