I have been in the biggest rut these past few weeks. It’s just been outbursts of emotion, feeling like not having a purpose and just not wanting to do anything, even the things I love. But I am so glad that God allowed this in my life because what I learnt from it was beyond anything I could have ever imagine coming from this season in my life.
Through this rut, I have had some strange obsessions with being outside. I hated being indoors, I did not want to sit in front of my laptop and all I wanted to do was to sit outside and take pictures of Auckland’s beautiful spring time. I just wanted to be outside. I can remember telling many of my friends, “All I want to do is sit under or tree or somewhere with sand or flowers or water”. So every morning I made sure I got to college early so I could sit in the park adjacent to it for a few moments.
I cried out to God every day. I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong, I couldn’t figure out what my purpose was and my relationships were in the limbo because I just could not deal with myself. I took my journal out and started pouring my heart out to God while I sat on a cold bench, surrounded by God’s creation. Honestly, that in itself was of some comfort to me, especially when the birds sang.
I got up to move, not feeling all that better and a piece of paper fell out of my journal with scribbled hand writing from a bible study from some months ago. At the bottom of it was scribbled a reference to 2 Corinthians 12, and so with nothing to loose I flipped to the chapter and although I did not understand the what it was saying to me at first…when I eventually did, it changed my situation through and through.
“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was GIVEN to me, lest I should be exalted above measure”2 Corinthians 12:7
Paul did not want to boast in this chapter but was telling the church that although he knew that he had many revelations from God (more than others), he did not want to boast of that because he knew his own weaknesses. He knew this because of the thorn in his flesh. When we think of thorn, we think of a small needle like thing that just causes some minor annoyance to us. But the actual Greek translation states that is it s TENT STAKE! As something which frustrates and causes trouble in the lives of the afflicted. This trouble is physical because it is a ‘thorn in the flesh’, it is mental because it is a messenger of Satan and it is spiritual because it sometimes continues as an unanswered prayed.
It is mentioned that Paul pleaded for it to be taken away many times because thats our first instinct isn’t it? When we are given our own thorn in the flesh, the first thing we pray for is for it to be taken away. But it is important to note that this trouble of sorts was GIVEN to Paul. It was not afflicted, but GIVEN. I have often heard it said that the closer we get to God, the more Satan wants to pull us away and we become the focus of his attacks.
I knew that for the past few months, God has been revealing himself to me in so many ways. I never imagined that our relationships with God were meant to be so in-depth, so insightful and so addictive. I have been more in love with God right now than I have ever been in my life, and I am finding His truth in so many different ways that I just want more. I also know that God is doing amazing things in the life of my blog and the small ministries that I am apart of. I am not mentioning this to brag, but to let you know that sometimes when God blesses us we can forget that we actually need Him. It’s easy to take His blessings and put Him on hold until we need Him next, and to take all the glory for ourselves.
When we are given a thorn in the flesh, it is to remind us that we are fallible. To remind us that we cannot control our thoughts and the evil that so easily entices us. It reminds us to be dependent on God and not on our strengths or glories or achievements. When we go through various trials like this the world can tell us a millions things, often inspired by the evil one. “You need a positive outlook! The power to get through this is within you! If you REALLY had faith, you would be delivered”. This isn’t a question of our faith, or our power or our problems. It’s not about us, but about what He can do for us.
Stay tuned for Part Two!!!