Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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 Christ’s power may rest on me. -2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NIV)

Have you ever prayed and prayed for something painful to end, but it doesn’t?

We all have a thorn in our sides that just won’t stop. It may be physical, mental, or emotional affliction–or maybe all of them. For the apostle Paul, when he wrote to the Christians in Corinth, he told them of the thorn that he begged God to take away from him.

But God’s response to Paul was this His grace was sufficient for him. God works best in our weakness, when we’re not striving in our own strength…when we’re not believing we’re responsible for how well our circumstances are going.

God often will allow for that thorn in our sides to accomplish His purpose, and because His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and because He sees how this thorn works out in the grand scheme of our life and the lives intertwined with it, we can trust that His plans are good.

Paul goes on to say:

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV)

Trust that God is allowing this for a reason. His silence does not mean He doesn’t hear. He’s lining things up according to His will and timing for our walk to best glorify Him. This pain He may intend for our strengthening, to open our eyes, or to warn us. One day we can look back and see it clearly, as He already does, and we can thank Him now and later for His perfect plans for us.