It is in our deepest pain - when we are on our knees - that we see God. Really see him. This is where our faith is. This is where we fear him. This is where we trust him.
Arthritis,” the doctor said with a sympathetic look.
“I’m sorry,” I said with a nervous laugh. “I thought you said I have arthritis.”
“I did,” she said.
Wait. Arthritis? That is something that only happens to other people. This can’t be the right diagnosis. Maybe I twisted my knee and need to wear a brace for a few weeks. Then I will be good as new.
But the doctor was right. I have arthritis in, not one, but both of my knees. And it hurts.
My doctor explained that there is not much that can be done. The knee pain will happen when the weather changes. It will also be caused by too much activity, or not enough. The pain will act up when sitting. Or standing. Or walking up stairs. Pretty much anytime.
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. - 2 Corinthians 12:7
Paul had an affliction. We don’t know what is was, but we do know it tormented him because he pleaded with God to remove it.
Suffering is hard, and God doesn’t like watching us suffer. So why doesn’t he remove our pain?
We see life through our human eyes. We only see the here and now.
But God sees life from an entirely different view. He knows what’s ahead and wants to prepare us for it. That may mean walking through rough waters for a time.
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. - 2 Corinthians 12:10
But we don’t have to lose hope. Because it is in our deepest pain - when we are on our knees - that we see God. Really see him. This is where our faith is. This is where we fear him. This is where we trust him.
The pain is where God shows us who is he is. It’s where we see his power at work. It’s where he fills us with love and peace that we cannot find anywhere else.
And after we are filled with awe for the Lord, after we have been gifted with God’s grace, and after we are given unexplainable peace, we can delight in Him. Because it is at this point in our weakness that we are strong.
Are you struggling today? Do you have a thorn in your flesh? Take it to God and let him make you strong.