Thursday

When You are a Thorn in Someone Else's Flesh

You didn't think your issues would grow into anything more than just that, your issues.  But then you opened your mouth or someone noticed something about you and now what you are going through seems like it has become frontpage news.

In the Christian Bible, the Apostle Paul talks about a thorn in his flesh, a personal problem he had that God had yet to remove.  Whatever that something was that Paul struggled with, the Bible doesn't say, but even a man of God had his share of issues and God still used him anyway.  This proves that you don't have to have it altogether to be used by God despite what ministers, teachers, and one's self-righteous parents or grandparents claim.  We also know that Mary had her share of problems brought on, not by man, but by God.  A young girl who would carry a child that wasn't her fiance's out of wedlock.  Imagine the shame she experienced.  So what do these two characters have in common? God, a heavenly Creator who didn't take all troubles away despite being chosen by Him.  Critics of these two people's lives had much to say during biblical times.  It didn't matter what God was doing to draw men and women closer to Him, there were going to be those who criticized, ridiculed, and did whatever else to God's chosen people.  If you are a believer, then you know that you are marked by an enemy to keep drama going in your life.  It is how you handle that drama that makes a difference.

For some readers, you may have brought some situations on yourself and you aren't proud of them. God may have used your unfortunate issues to bring glory to Him.  But whatever you are going through, a critic might be talking about your thorn, your calling, your project, your child or something else.  This person may be responsible for keeping you upset, but you don't have to stay that way.

I recall when I became pregnant with my first child.  It was then that I learned who was friend and who was foe.  Those who once invited the childless me to church and other places, didn't want to have much to do with me when they heard I was expecting.  I was in my early twenties, didn't have much money, periodically attended church, and low and behold unmarried and pregnant.  Did God abandon me because of my situation?  No.  He loved me anyway.  I didn't stop talking about Him because of my poor choices.  I casted my burdens on Him, confessed sin, and asked my Lord to help me and put me around wise people.  In my own strength, I attempted to make wrongs right by marrying my child's father.  But I learned later in life, that if God doesn't want you to do something, it doesn't matter what society says or what you feel is right at the time, he has his reasons.  Wrongs could have been made right in his time and not my own.  As a result, I am divorced today.  God had a better plan, but I didn't see it back then because I was more concerned about what people thought.

There were other times in my life I noticed that when I was no longer giving money to certain groups, due to my family responsibilities, so-called Do-Gooders' calls, letters and gifts stopped coming.  The issues that I was dealing with didn't welcome help, rather they only brought on negative talk by critics, a self-righteous and mean-spirited bunch.  Back to God for wisdom and strength. 

Somehow your issues become others' issues.  Yet, God has his way of taking poor, miserable you and turning you around to be rich in favor with Him.  How does he do that?  By taking a magnifying glass and showing you your  self-righteous critics' errors who think they are "better, good, kind, sweet, nice, successful..."  He doesn't do this so that you can parade around and say to your enemies, "Aha!  I knew you were nothing but a..."  Rather, your Holy Father teaches you via your struggles as well as your naysayers' issues that these people aren't better than you and you aren't better than anyone else--what a humbling experience! 

God shows you that wisdom can be found not only in good decision-making but poor choices too if you draw near to Him.  Some of us are simply too hard-headed at times to just take the easy routes in life, we have to fall hard before we can see the light.  Our Creator gives us a plan for our lives to do things like:  come up higher (ie. don't act petty, worry or plot revenge), be free from issues (ie. emotional, spiritual and physically binding relationships/partnerships), and the bravery to stand up to enemies.

I know that some of you are seeking knowledge that will get you out of your current dilemmas, and I am sure you will find it.  But just remember, there are people and then there are souls--the flesh may die, but the soul doesn't.  As much as you would like to poke someone with your thorn, don't.  One day we all will sit in judgment for the pain and suffering we have caused others if we don't confess sin and repent now for what we have done or are doing to self and others. 

If you or someone you know is hurt because of someone else's actions or in-actions about a matter, know that God will avenge in his time, not yours.  Take your burdens to Him and leave them there!  Don't keep talking about your problems with others when solutions are already on the way--move on! 

To God be the glory!

Nicholl McGuire 

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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