A Thorn: Curse or Blessing?

David Zomer

READ : 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

There was given me a thorn in my flesh . . . (v. 7 niv)

What was this “thorn” in Paul’s flesh? We read that Paul repeatedly prayed that God would remove this thorn. But God left it there. Paul eventually accepted this as a challenge and a reminder to remain humble.

Do you have a thorn in the flesh? I admit I do. As a modern person, I have been taught to be totally self-reliant. This has easily led to thinking that my way is better. After living abroad for so many years, my pride in being a North American sometimes becomes a painful thorn in my side. After a particularly frustrating afternoon, I can throw up my hands and say, “This would never happen in North America!”

But I am wrong. It does. During home assignment last summer, I quickly relearned that things are not perfect in North America either. My pride in knowing a “better way” will probably always be a thorn in my side.

God often reminds me, as he did Paul, to be humble. To recognize this and accept the thorn is important for Christians because then we rely on God. “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (v. 10 niv). What is your thorn?


Lord, thank you for the thorn you have placed in my flesh. Let it be a reminder of your power, not mine.