So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (ESV)

I’ve often wondered what was the “thorn” in the flesh of the apostle. Paul said God left it there to keep him humble and desperate for God.

I am glad the Bible doesn’t reveal what specifically the thorn was because I think it makes it more relatable. The truth is we’ve all got a thorn that’s left to keep us desperate for God.

Though I must admit, I’m not nearly as understanding as Paul was when my request for its removal went unanswered.

But that’s the reality of it isn’t it, friend? Some answers are no. We want the enemy to back the heck off of our lives, so we call down the fires of heaven, and yet there he is — still, messin!

Perhaps you’re wrestling with the why behind a no. It’s a reasonable request to be left the heck alone! No one likes walking around with a target on their back. But the truth is we’ve all been marked by the blood, and the enemy is none too happy about it.

So let me encourage you — sister there’s purpose in the no. God’s denial of your request carries with it an authority more powerful than the yes you’ve been praying for. God knows the power it will take for you to go where He is leading, and friend that power isn’t found in answer to your prayer. It’s found in His grace because He didn’t answer the prayer. Don’t you see, it’s your weakness that holds God’s authority.

Remember there’s mercy is in the no.

Your friend in faith,

What’re your thoughts on Paul’s thorn? How do you feel about God just leaving space for the enemy to mess with him? Do you find peace knowing God’s grace carried him in his weakness, or perhaps confused at why God wouldn’t just deliver him from it? I would love to chat with you. Leave a comment below.

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