The literal translation of this verse adds a startling emphasis to it, allowing it to speak for itself with power we have probably never realized. It is as follows: “Therefore I take pleasure in being without strength, being insulted, experiencing emergencies, and being chased and forced into a corner for Christ’s sake; for when I am without strength, I am dynamite.”
After we read it in this light does anyone want to say, “WOW this is my favorite scripture of all time. I just want to memorize it so I can say it over and over.” I doubt very seriously anyone would want to make this “their verse” so to speak. Actually this verse could not be more opposite than our true feelings. Just think about it for a moment, who wants to be considered weak, insulted, have emergencies, and be forced into a corner, nobody! So what does it all mean?
A.B. Simpson had this to say about the verse. The secret of knowing God’s complete sufficiency is in coming to the end of everything in ourselves, and our circumstances. Once we reach this point, we stop seeking sympathy for our difficult situation or ill treatment, because we will recognize these things as the necessary conditions for blessings. We will then turn from our circumstances to God, realizing they are the evidence of Him working in our lives.
George Matheson, the well-known blind preacher once said, “My dear God, I have never thank You for my thorns. I have thanked you a thousand times for my roses, but not once for my thorns. I have always looked forward to the place where I will be rewarded for my cross, but I have never thought of my cross as a present glory itself. Teach me O Lord, to glory in my cross, Teach me the value of my thorns. Show me how I have climbed to You through the path of pain. Show me its is through my tears I have seen my rainbows.”
As I have been taking stock in my own life recently, I have been faced with some tough questions? One question for me has been is my job more important than my family? I have always been a constant for my children and Chad, but am I doing a good job now? As a woman I feel the guilt of leaving my two-year-old everyday knowing all the things I will miss in that one day. Sometimes I just cry out and say, “God is it worth it trying to balance all these things!” You know that is one of the things I love about God. He doesn’t mind you asking Him questions, as long as you are ready to listen. He knows the sincerity of your heart, so he never judges. You can be completely honest with him about every emotion and every thought, and he still will love you. He so faithfully answered me. Every thorn in life has a cost, but that is what makes them so special, that is what I want you to give thanks for. If it were not for the thorns, the difficult times, you would continue to stay the way you are. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Without the thorns there would be no future.
Lord you are so good and so faithful. You are so forgiving, and willing to listen to anything and everything on my mind. Today I thank you for the opportunity to serve both my church and my family. I pray that you would always remind me that it is only when I come to the end of myself, that you can take control of my life. Amen