Friday, February 25, 2011


I had this "thorn" in my flesh.

It was relentless; a constant struggle that refused to go away.

I prayed and prayed and PRAYED, yet it remained.

In my prayer, at first, I simply begged God to remove the "thorn".

He didn't.  And I was mad.  I was irritated.  I was like, "What's the deal, Lord?! Can you not hear me? I'm begging you to help me out, and you're refusing to take this from me?!?"

And then I started praying about the situation that brought the "thorn" into my life.  Not because I wanted to, but because I was desperate to find a new avenue that may help ME be rid of it.

I prayed each and every time the thorny-thoughts entered my head, despite my desire to give in to the thorn.  I prayed for any person that might be involved.  I prayed for other people that may have similar thorns.  I rebuked the devil and all but doused myself in Holy water in my desperation to have that thorn be gone forever.

I prayed specifically that I wouldn't give in and let the thorn be a part of my life.

This lasted for almost 2 years.

And then, one day,  I got to see a little glimpse of why God chose to leave that thorn in my flesh.

I saw a small-bite-of-fruit from those prayers I had been praying.  I saw eyes opened, and I saw revelation.
To put it simply- I thought I was just praying for myself, but it turns out- God chose to leave that thorn there so that I would PRAY MY GUTS OUT about the situation.  He used my prayer for a greater purpose.  He used that thorn for a bigger picture.

Is the thorn completely removed?  
Not completely.  But, I see it's purpose.  And that's HUGE.

The "thorn" has allowed me to gain a new empathy for those that struggle with these things.  It's given me a heart for situations that I typically would NOT have understood.

I'm able to show compassion instead of judgement...

I've learned this:
Sometimes we have thorns- and if we are careful not to give into them, they can be used to teach us how to be more like a Christian and less like religious-goody-two-shoe fools.


  1. Amber, I really appreciate your honesty and completely relate! I too have a thorn/or an unanswered prayer that for years has worn me down, but in the process I've been able to see that it wasn't about my immediate satisfaction that God is concerned about, but the long term change He wants to see in my life. Plus He wants to use this to bring him glory and most of the time, it means no glory for me...ouch. Thanks for this post!
    Bethany O.

  2. Thanks, Bethany!! I love how God uses these obstacles in our life to teach us, and mold us, and grow us. And YES-YES-YES, it is so NOT about our immediate satisfaction. (Wow. I love that!) It is totally about that 'long term change'. You're awesome.