I I I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows.3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. 5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan,to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul was trying to make a point. The Corinthians were looking for a RockStar Preacher. They wanted flash, Charisma and Dashing good looks would be a nice touch as well. It was the same attitude the Israelites had about wanting a king. God gave them Saul, the RockStar King and he nearly destroyed Israel. When he put David on the throne, however, Israel saw unity, peace, and prosperity. God looks at the heart. Paul was an apostle that loved God and wanted nothing more than to share the Gospel of that love to any and all who would listen. In the midst of that discussion, however, Paul speaks of his vision of Heaven and his thorn in the flesh. God took Paul to the highest heights; but, then left him with a weakness he could not overcome. Paul begged God to take away the weakness, but God told him that His grace was sufficient and his power was made perfect in weakness. So Paul was determined to celebrate his weakness; since he knew God was in it.
In our lives, we work to honor God and live lives that seem amazing. Still, there are things that are far less than desirable that drive us crazy. We cry out to God to take them away but, as with Paul, God reminds us that His power is made perfect in our weakness. He also reminds us that His grace is sufficient to meet our needs–even in our weakness. Like Paul, it is not always the answer we wish to hear, but, it is the truth. We must cling to God’s grace and allow Him to lead His way and simply follow and trust Him. On most days, we can accept that His grace is sufficient, but on the rest, it drives us to our knees. From there, we have no other choice than to simply pray and allow the Lord to prepare us, protect us, and provide for our needs.
God Bless You