A Thorn in the Flesh

I said, “Would You take it away?”

He said, “I will not.”

This is pain you can live through, though I know it is a lot.

I don’t think He sees me, and I don’t think He knows.

He thinks I can handle more than I’m able.

He thinks it helps me to grow.

But it is dark and deep, a messenger from Hell.

You say, “Let it perfect you.”  But how can You tell?

I’m scared it will break me if it will not relent.

He must not love me.  What else makes sense?


I said, “Would You take it away?”

He said, “I will not.”

But I am Good and you know it.

Or have you forgotten?

Can you remember the days when you first saw My face,

When the hope in your heart became an all-consuming blaze?

Can you remember how it felt when it all made sense,

That you are not alone or unknown, not even for an instant?

Yes… I remember, but I still don’t understand,

How this awful pain is a part of Your plan.


I said, “Would You take it away?”

He said, “I will not.”

Because along with every revelation,

for the humility of your heart I will also allot.

Because I know the devastating price of pride,

And from its ravenous appetite you cannot hide.

This pain you see as an evil deed,

Will serve to protect you from conceit.

So as I begin to believe, I also begin to see

That what was meant to condemn and destroy, glorifies You and strengthens me.


Jesus said, “Would You take it away?”

He said, “I will not.”

For these You were given You have known, You have loved, and You have fought.

We will not leave them as helpless sheep destined for slaughter,

But will raise them up as beloved sons and daughters.

Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come,

When you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. (John 16:31-32)

But you, dear one, I will never leave or forsake.

Your days have been planned, your life is no mistake.

So for the joy set before Me, My thorn will cover you in grace.



“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was give me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.  Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”  (Luke 22:42-44)

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