Grace and peace be unto you.
The journey continues…
During my early years, I loved singing and would often daydream about being an excellent singer. Hence, it was no surprise when I joined our local church youth choir in order to fulfill my dream. We sang several songs and I thought I was doing very well until I got a wake-up call.
On a late Saturday afternoon, we were having a rehearsal for our annual Christmas concert. In those days, a large number of people came out to watch rehearsals. It was decided that I would be one of the lead singers. I was excited and very confident. We sang the chorus, after which, the first lead singer sang beautifully and wowed the spectators. Then, the choir director signaled that it was my turn. I stepped forward and started singing, the musicians stopped playing, some people doubled up with laughter, while others were on the floor roaring with laughter. At that moment, it dawned on me that I had a “no singing voice.” Even so, I believe that all things are possible through Christ, therefore I prayed, fasted, and pleaded with Christ to give me a singing voice, until I accepted his response, “my child your no singing voice will remain.”
I asked God for the gift of singing and the apostle Paul begged him to remove an obstacle. Paul was a man of great faith who performed many miracles (Acts 19:11). And yet, he prayed three times for God to remove the thorn in his flesh and God told him that it would remain because his grace was sufficient for him (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). God knew that the thorn would help Paul to accomplish his purpose, hence it was an advantage to him. Paul agreed, as he admitted that the thorn kept him humble (2 Corinthians 12:7).
For many years, you might have been asking God to remove your thorn (e.g., physical illness) and He has not granted your request. Perhaps He wants your thorn to remain because it will help you to fulfill your purpose. The reality is that some of us will become distracted and lose our way if our thorns are removed. God knows this and has decided that they will remain while He gives us the grace to endure.
How do I know if my thorn should remain?
This is an important question because the answer determines if you should accept your situation or continue believing Jesus for change. There are two ways of determining if your thorn should remain:
1. Ask Jesus, the Bible says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Sometimes, we overlook the fact that God is relational and loves communicating with us. You can seek him through prayer and fasting, then ask the question. He will give you an answer.
2. Analyze your situation and ask the questions, how is the thorn helping me to accomplish my purpose? Or how am I accomplishing my purpose without the particular thing that I desire? If your purpose is being fulfilled while you have the thorn, then it should remain. On the other hand, if your purpose is being fulfilled without that thing which you desire, then you do not need it. God created us to do his will and has given us everything we need (2 Peter 1:3).
Heavenly Father, I pray that you help us to understand that sometimes our thorns must remain and you will deny our requests for your purpose to be accomplished, in Jesus’s name, Amen.
My pain has a purpose, I have learned compassion. Through those tear-filled moments, humility has come forth. Oh, my pain has a purpose, I have learned how to love. I’ve touched the heart of Jesus, through my pain. Nadine Anderson