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Thank You for this thorn

Photo by Nikoli Afina on Unsplash

A splinter in my finger gets my attention pretty quickly. It hurts, distracts me – often keeping me from what I ‘need’ to do, and I know enough about infection that it worries me. So I work undeterred until I dig or cut the splinter out.

Like most of you, I have more chronic issues of pain that sometimes distract and limit me, and sometimes worry me – like that splinter. But I can’t just dig these out.

Maybe St. Paul had chronic pain (Lord knows he had countless afflictions beyond our comprehension) that he referred to as a “thorn in the flesh” in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. And Jesus told him the plan wasn’t to dig the thorn out, but to leave it in for the safeguarding of Paul’s soul essentially, and so that Paul might grow closer to Christ in dependence and intimacy.

One of my favorite songwriters and musicians, Twila Paris wrote a song about our Father’s love for us demonstrated in His discipline of us. I first heard it in 1991 and the older I get the more the song means to me; the lyrics are reprinted here in hopes they help you turn to the One Who holds all the power and the wisdom over our pain, limitations, and sufferings – and collapse into Him in trust.

This Thorn

Twila Paris © 1990 Star Song Music

Thank you for this thorn - embedded in my flesh,

I can feel the mystery, my spirit is made fresh;

You are sovereign still, and forever wise

I can see the miracle opening my eyes

To a proud heart so quick to judge

Laying down crosses and carrying grudges

The veil has been torn -

And I thank You for this thorn.

Thank you for this thorn - fellowship of pain

Teaching me to know You more; never to complain.

Thank You for this love planted in my side,

Faithful patient miracle opening my eyes

I never thought I'd say it without reservation

But I am truly grateful for this piercing revelation

Of a proud heart so quick to judge;

Laying down crosses and carrying grudges

The veil has been torn -

And I thank You for this thorn.

And if You choose to take it, I will praise You

And thank You for the healing in Your Name!

But if it must remain, I thank You for Your rod;

Evidence of Father-love for a child of God…

I join You in the sorrow - so much less than You have borne

And I thank You, really I thank You -

Lord I thank You, I thank You for this thorn.


Content on is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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