“The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him. But he will sweep away his enemies in an overwhelming flood. He will pursue his foes into the darkness of night.” Nahum 1:7-8
The pain can be relentless, day and night. The diagnosis came after many years of unexplained suffering. It was a welcome relief to have a reason, but no one really knew what to do about it. More than twenty years have come and gone, I have learned to live with a certain level of pain, but there are times it does seem like an overwhelming flood.
We all have enemies of different kinds, finances, marital problems, infertility, anger, loneliness, fears, depression, anything which keeps us from living in victory, things which prevent us from doing everyday things.
Paul struggled with his thorn in the flesh. He pleaded for the Lord to take it away, but God’s answer was no. He tells about being beaten, shipwrecked, stoned, imprisoned, hungry, and hated. He was perhaps the most fearless of God’s early messengers, yet he suffered greatly.
It is easy to use a problem as an excuse. Some do prevent us from doing something for God. However, giving in not only keeps us from blessing others, but from being blessed in return.
Paul chose to boast in his weaknesses. He knew that being weak in some area was cause to rely on God all the more. Sometimes we experience a little time on the shelf when we truly cannot do something. We must learn to differentiate between being truly unable, and simply wanting an excuse.
Jesus called us to be overcomers, to have an attitude of being able to do all things through His strength. He is there when troubles come, a safe haven to shelter us and heal us. When we do experience a time of helplessness and need, though, we must remember His promises that the day will come when He will sweep away all of our enemies and persevere until that day.
Think about what truly is your thorn in the flesh. Realize that God wants to show His power through you. Your affliction may be an opportunity to bless someone else by your perseverance, or to grow in your trust in Him.
Trust God to be close to you when enemies attack, and watch Him pursue them into the darkness.
Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston-Holtman & 2MefromHim Ministries, 2011. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission of author.