Life Is Full of Thorns
II Corinthians 12
One of the great children's story was 'The Little Engine that Could' attributed to Mabel C. Bragg, a teacher in Boston, Massachusetts.
The gist of the story is that a long train must be
pulled over a high mountain. Larger and more powerful
engines are asked to pull the train but for various
reasons they refuse.
At last in desperation the train asks the little switch engine to take it up the mountain and down on the other side. "I think I can," puffed the little locomotive, as it attaches itself to the front of the great heavy train. The other engines all mock the little engine for trying, but that did not stop the little engine.
As it went on the little engine kept bravely puffing faster
and faster, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can."
Then as it near the top of the mountain, that had so
discouraged the larger engines, it went more slowly, but still kept saying, "I--think--I--can, I--think--I--can,
It reached the top of the mountain through its brave, persistent effort. Then going down the other side,
the little engine congratulated itself saying, "I thought
I could, I thought I could." By chugging on with his motto
I-think-I-can, the engine succeeded in pulling the train
over the mountain.
Well friend I think we can handle the thorns of life.
Paul was living life in a pressure cooker world. His whole life was a hardship and full of persecution. Through out his life he experience one problem after another.
But somehow he got a hold of resources that stood him in good stead regardless of what was going on and the one message that he gives to us is that with God's help thorns can be turned into triumph.
If you ever read Paul's words in II Corinthians 12 you find out his life wasn't a bed of roses. His life wasn't all joy and all greatness. His life wasn't all triumphs without any tragedies. He begins that chapter by sharing with us the great experience he had.
He says fourteen days ago the Lord took me up into the heavens and I don't know whether I was in the body or in the spirit but I found myself in paradise and God gave me some great experience that I cannot verbalize; that I can share because they were to tremendous.
Then by verse seven he says But I will tell you this that all of these experience were so tremendous that the Lord was afraid I might be exalted. So I was given a physical condition which became a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan to hurt and punish me to prick my pride.
Three different times I beg the Lord to make me well again; each time he said no I am with you that is all you need, my power shows up best in weak people. Now I am glad that I will boast in the weakness that I have.
I am glad to be a living demonstration of the power of Christ instead of show off my own power and ability. And since this for Christ Good I am happy with the thorn, the insult, the hardship an ...
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