by John O’Malley
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:7–9
If you live with an infirmity, you may find yourself saying, “Why me? Why do I have to suffer with this ailment? Why must I go through this trial?”
You may question God. You seek answers from others. You wonder, “What possible good could come from this infirmity?” You may look at others who do not have your infirmity and wonder, “Why do I have to suffer and they do not?”
When Paul spoke of his infirmity, he quantified his infirmity in three ways. He saw it as a thorn in his flesh. He declared it a messenger of Satan. He wrote of it as something which was meant to keep him humble.
Paul knew what he saw in the revelation from God when he was caught up into the third heaven. What he saw was so amazing that it could have gone to his head and made him boastful. God forbade Paul from speaking of what he witnessed.
Paul’s inspired words speak to me. From his words, I learn God’s presence, power, and promises are linked to my infirmities. When Paul spoke of his infirmity, he spoke of glorying in his infirmities. Glorying in our infirmities is not a natural reaction to affliction. Paul saw his affliction as the path for him to have the power of Christ rest upon his life.
The sense of this word rest is that God’s power tabernacles or dwells with us in our infirmity. What a beautiful picture! Like the Shekinah glory shown through the badger skins in the wilderness tabernacle, Paul’s thorn in the flesh teaches me God tabernacles with us in our affliction. He brings His power, presence, and promises as He sets up a tent over my life and dwells with me in my affliction.
If you live with an infirmity, you might say, “Why me?” But, since the power of Christ is known through our infirmities, perhaps we should say, “Why not me?”
Yours for the harvest,
If this article has been an encouragement to you, you can email Bro. O’Malley here to let him know.