A Thorn In The Flesh?

November 17, 2010
by Rod Marshall

John 14:21 – Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. (ESV)

I have been wearing a shirt for work during the warmer months. Each time I wore it, however, I was aware of a stinging sensation in my back. I thought it might be something catching on the join of my braces (suspenders) in the middle of my back. Yet, no, there was nothing there, so I shrugged it off.

After several attempts wearing the shirt, I thought that I would try and tie down what the cause was. Maybe it was a spot, a growth, or a wrinkle catching in the centre pleat of the shirt. No, it was not. After several weeks of enduring the sensation of being pinpricked sporadically in the middle of my back, and having eliminated everything else, I decided that it must be something in the shirt itself.

I used a ruler and a mirror to pinpoint the area on my back and removed the shirt to investigate. Lo and behold, I found a tiny piece of hard green plastic hidden inside the weave of the material. I guess it was like a shard from a tag that might be attached to bags of fruit — probably a label from the original roll of cloth caught up in the machine when it was woven.

Aha, finally success! I had found the cause, and so it could be removed. Now, having remedied the shirt by pulling the plastic splinter out, I have regained a slightly damaged but good shirt. I have never heard of, read about, or seen anything like this before, I mused.

This experience has made me consider how I can cause pain to a God who loves us, but who cannot abide our sinful and flawed nature. Through our supplication and Jesus' love and grace, these causes of pain may be removed or remedied, so that God can regain a slightly damaged but pleasing disciple!

Prayer: Lord, we are truly sorry for being a pain, again. It dismays us to think that we can continue to cause You sadness. Please forgive us all that is past. Sanctify us through Jesus' blood and via the agency of the Holy Spirit, that You might be pleased to walk with us once more today. Grant us Your peace because You love us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickmarshall@yahoo.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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