A thorn in the flesh. Such vivid imagery. The sharp end of a thorn pierces the soft skin of life and lodges beneath the surface. Every step is a reminder of the thorn in the flesh. The cancer in the body. The child in rehab. The red ink on the ledger. The tears in the middle of the night. “Take it away,” you’ve pleaded. Not once, twice, or even three times. But you’ve heard the same words the apostle Paul heard in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
Paul is referring to sustaining grace—grace that meets us at our point of need and equips us with courage, wisdom, and strength. Sustaining grace promises not the absence of struggle but the presence of God. We’ve written checks only to see the words “insufficient funds.” Will we offer prayers only to discover insufficient strength? Never!