We all have our quirks. Some of us have bigger quirks than others.
The apostle Paul was given one. He called it a thorn. Many Biblical scholars feel Paul's issue was a vision one. He asked God to take the thorn away thinking he could better serve the Lord. I'm convinced that was why he asked...because at that time he was devoted to serving Jesus.
But, God said no. He said, "My grace is sufficient."
Change gears for just a moment--
A first grade me started the school year late. I had eye surgery and had caught pneumonia while in the hospital. After missing most of Kindergarten, I barely knew the kids. The eye doctor made me wear a patch over my good eye. Let me tell you, this was not a great way to make friends and influence first graders.
I remember vividly standing in the hall and hanging my jacket in the locker. I fiddled with things trying to kill time. I didn't want to go in the classroom. What exactly I would do instead was as illusive to me then as it still is today. I don't know. Maybe I thought I would sneak back home.
The bell rang. All the kids filtered into the classroom. The teacher wasn't standing at the door encouraging kids to come in. She must have had something to do in the room.
I felt lost. Embarrassed. I didn't want the kids to laugh at me. I wanted to be anywhere except there.
The classroom door opened. The teacher came into the hall and walked to me. She softly placed one hand on my shoulder and invited me into the room. I said I didn't want to go. The kids will laugh at me.
I don't know what she said next but I did what she said and walked into the room with her.
What I do remember is the kids did not laugh at me. They looked, but they didn't laugh.
I also remember that the teacher did not make a big deal about the patch...at least in my presence.
After that...first grade went well. Nothing else stands out in my mind. No tripping on the playground. No bullies teasing me about the patch.
I had asked Jesus into my heart the year before. This may have had no influence on the outcome of that first grade day because God does give rain to the righteous and the unrighteous. What I do know is that Jesus loved me and helped me to not run away that day. It was a tough moment for a six-year-old and God was there the whole time.
So now let's return to the Apostle Paul. He had a tough time too. One day he was on the road to Damascus, ready to kill all the Christians he could find. He had a letter granting him permission. But on the road, a bright light blinded him. He heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"
God had a conversation with Saul. A powerful one that changed Saul's life and name. God did not leave Saul to fend for himself. Saul, now Paul had men lead him to Damascus to a specific place to meet a certain man who would help him.
God places people in our lives to help us through tough moments. Any tough moment. God loves us so much.
So very much.
This post has been brought to you by the one-word: Godwillneverleaveus