Monday, August 29, 2011

Living Lessons: August 21, 2011: Thorn in the Flesh


Jesus the Christ had a marvelous way of conveying deep spiritual truths by using stories and object lessons from the living world around Him.  As we endeavor to draw people to the foot of the cross, let us enjoy this effective style of sharing by following His example.

Thorn in the flesh:  What keeps you on your toes?  While I was out for a sunrise run one morning this week, I was shocked when I planted my heel firmly on the concrete sidewalk to hear a CRUNCH and felt a mild discomfort in my left heel.  The remnants of a glass bottle had conveniently decided to take up residence in my shoe, pricking the sole of my foot.  Stepping on that left heel was no longer an option and I didn’t want to take a break in the run since I wasn’t far from home, so I began running on my toes (forefoot).  According to the professionals, contacting the ground with your mid or forefoot is much more efficient and produces less injury than running on your heels.  Due to the glass shards lodged firmly in my shoe, I enjoyed running with proper form all the way home and realized how much less shock my knees were taking.  I was somewhat thankful for the little intruder in my shoe.

Thorns in our lives can often spur us on toward better things.  At the end of Judges chapter two, the Lord informs that He let some of small Canaanite nations remain unconquered so that Israel could be tested.  In James chapter one the brother of Jesus encourages those who were being persecuted to take joy in their troubles because they would be more complete with patience and perseverance in the end.  Paul even admits in his second letter to the Corinthians that he was given a thorn in his flesh to keep him from being proud and boasting.  Paul asked the Lord three times for this nuisance to be taken away, yet the Lord in His wisdom and goodness refused.  May we learn to take joy and appreciate the little thorns in our lives knowing that our Father allows them to make us stronger, healthier, and safer.  Be open to God’s goodness and He’ll keep you “on your toes.”

And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Christopher’s topics of study for this week
Open communication is a great way for us all to share and grow together.  Letting you know what I’m studying in the office is a great way for you to share in prayer and study with me to improve the effectiveness of our church.
Preaching, Fred CraddockInterpretation: Between the Text and the Listener.
The Family Friendly Church, Ben FreudenburgHow faith development will change with a family focus.
Christian Counseling, Gary CollinsLoneliness.