Have you ever wondered what our circumstances or the situations we are given in the flesh really mean? What’s the purpose of the pain and frustration? I can identify with these questions in my own life and I’m sure all of us have asked the same of Jesus at some point along the way. I found an interesting quote from Christine Caine that reads: God does not ask, “Are you capable?” He asks, “Are you willing?” From the moment I read it its sheer simplicity left me in awe before my beautiful Savior.
The Apostle Paul provides such great wisdom and insight into the reality of having a willing spirit in the midst of unwilling flesh. We find Paul’s personal application of this in 1 Corinthians 12 where he talks about his revelations from God along with his thorn in the flesh. In the beginning verses (v.1-4) Paul basically says that he was taken up into paradise and the reality of what he experienced was too great to be expressed in words. As he continues writing we learn that Paul only wants to boast about his weaknesses because he doesn’t want anyone to give him credit for the things he didn’t do. (v. 6-7) I can see this reflection of Paul’s attitude in my own life because I never want myself or others to take the credit for something God has done in and through me. My question for you is this: Have you ever given a certain person or situation credit for something God has done for you? I have been there myself. Most often I can remember a season of my life where I was giving Satan acknowledgement for the things I had been blessed with rather that the God who created and formed me in my mother’s womb!! (Jeremiah 1:5) I was doing this for years with my disability and didn’t even recognize it because I was so blinded by the Enemy.
Looking back on that season of my life I can see where Satan wanted me to only feel sorry for myself and view having Cerebral Palsy as the end of the world whereas God paints a totally different picture. My favorite part of Paul’s testimony of his thorn in the flesh are verses 8-10 which say, Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (New Living Translation)
Although it is unclear exactly what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was, I’m pretty sure he probably asked the same questions we’re asking as Christians today. Nevertheless, God knows that we are strong enough to handle the situation or circumstance He has given us or it wouldn’t be ours. God’s question for us all is “Are you willing?”
©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.