I hate talking about the thorn in my side. It’s so embarrassing. I’m sure nobody cares and certainly nobody wants to hear about it.
But as I write, if I still have your attention, try to imagine my thorn as your own thorn, because honestly, we all have one.
You know that thing that brings us to our knees. That thing we struggle with everyday. That thing that leaves us crying out to God, “Take this from me!” And yet, we feel falls on deaf ears.
Mine happens to be my weight.
I have struggled with my body image all my life. I say body image because I always thought I was fat even when I wasn’t.
I few years ago I dropped 60lbs. More than I ever have in my whole life at one time. My clothes got a lot smaller, I took up less room I noticed on my chair, and then there was everyone telling me how great I looked.
Really? When I stood in front of my bathroom mirror every morning as I was about to get into the shower, I didn’t see a difference.
I watched the number on the scale drop slowly every week. It took me a year and a half. Certainly wasn’t over night, that’s for sure.
But I felt nothing. And the mirror told me nothing.
As soon as I hit the number I arbitrarily chose I started to gain the weight back. It was easy, because again, I didn’t see any difference except what was on the scale.
So I let it go. Pound by pound until, guess what? I’m right back to where I started. More some, even.
IT’S INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING!
It’s frustrating because I’ve done this before. This always happens. And now I have come across information that explains it and it all just seems so hopeless.
So much so that I’m ashamed to tell you this…
But I had given up.
I stopped caring. I stopped fighting. I started enjoying. I started binging. I started to get worse.
GOD, WHERE ARE YOU? WHY DO I STILL STRUGGLE WITH THIS? WHY WON’T YOU TAKE THIS AWAY FROM ME?
And then, this morning I got smacked. I got God smacked.
I have a friend who is living with cancer. I have another who is living with PTSD. My step mom is laying in a hospital bed after receiving a pacemaker, just yesterday.
Are they allowed to give up?
Is it ok for them to stop fighting?
No, it’s not.
Then it’s not ok for me either.
So it leads me back to where I started. Even farther.
But I have to start, again. I have to start fighting, again. I have to start caring. I have to start leaning more on God, again.
Because it’s the thorn that brings me to my knees. It’s what I struggle with, everyday. It’s what makes me cry out to God.
Because if it didn’t, why would I ever?
God may never have any desire to take this from me. But he will continue to walk with me through it. Carrying me at times even.
I know that he is here. So I know it’s a good place to be. It’s my journey. It’s my thorn.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:8-10