Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 2 Corinthians 12:6-8 NIV
As I read this passage of scripture, I couldn’t help to chuckle a little at Paul’s admission and obvious high self-esteem. Paraphrasing, Paul said that even if he wanted to boast, he could and everything he would boast about would all be the truth because of his great speaking and supernatural abilities. I chuckle again. I like Paul. Then, he immediately followed that he chooses to refrain from boasting. However, to be on the safe side, he has been buffeted with a thorn (whatever that thorn may be), to ensure that he does not fall into conceit.
Honestly, I like how Paul framed his thorn. He framed it as an opportunity in humility. We often see our circumstances through distorted lenses as just something that is there to harm us. But, what if a circumstance that has come into your life is just that… a path to humility. A way to understanding. A road to forgiveness.
I took a minute to consider my perceived thorns and I can honestly say, that they have taught me so much! I have so much more compassion now for others than I have ever had. Just because I have thorns, does not mean that I’m not still a rose. The same for you. In fact… you can’t even have a rose without thorns. How about that?