Paul talks about his thorn in his flesh in 2 Corinthians 12:7 – 9:
So to keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. 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.
I hadn’t really paid much attention to this passage until lately when I got the idea that my thorn in my flesh is the feeling of eternal neediness. I want so much to not feel needy, that I ache. I pray and ask God to help me trust Him more so I won’t feel so needy.
Then when I read this passage, I get the feeling that the issue is a never-ending circle for me. Paul said he had this thorn to keep him from being too elated and to demonstrate God’s grace in his life. So if I feel that neediness is my “thorn in the flesh,” and I ask God to help me trust Him more, He keeps the thorn there so I don’t get “too elated,” and “so His power can be made perfect in weakness.” How can I ask God to take away this “feeling?” I am providing Him with plenty of weakness with which to perfect His power. It almost seems wrong to ask for Him to remove it.
So, I say to myself after working through this thought process, “Maybe you just need to deal with the neediness a little more maturely. You need to learn to trust God a little more silently, a little more humbly.” Ultimately, this “feeling” is just that. It is all my anxieties about life and what’s to come (or not) mixed with my horribly self-centered concern for what other people think of me. Then, after this little mental exercise, I ask myself, “Where’s the balance between soldiering on through trials and allowing God to perfect His power in us and seeking help and consolation from others?” In the midst of that conundrum, how do I handle just my normal emotional personality coupled with any variety of hormonal abnormalities?
I don’t have any real answers; I am just thinking out loud.
I guess in a sense I am being needy and self-centered on my blog, which has its own irony.