I was teaching last week at Bible study about praying for healing: when it's appropriate, how God seems to work through healing or without healing, etc. We were discussing the Apostle Paul and his need for healing and I said he had a "thorn in his eye." Whoops. I think that was supposed to be a thorn in his side, which doesn't make much sense because scholars believe that he had an eye problem of some sort. The point was, God didn't heal Paul, did He? God used that irritating, frustrating and painful "thorn" to keep Paul humble and totally reliant upon Him.
But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Chris's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I think I might have meant to say that I have a thorn in my eye. You see (forgive the pun), I have had pink eye for a week and despite the anti-bacterial drops and prayers, it still feels like I have a rock (or a thorn) in my eye. Or sand...isn't there some parable about the irritating grain of sand in an oyster? I wonder if I'm growing pearls in my eyes.
Okay, maybe I'm not growing pearls here, but it could be something more like the pearl of great price. My irritations today are producing in me something of eternal value (at least I hope so!) - like the jewels of patience, endurance, or resting in God's grace to be my sufficiency.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:16-17