I was speaking with a homeless man who had not seen his family for a long time. The circumstances of his life had forced him to live on the streets. Yet, for some reason I felt that God wanted me to speak with him, and to minister to him. Interestingly enough, he spoke to me first and he knew a few things about the Word of God, so our discussion was productive. Somehow, I was able to tell him some very specific things about his circumstances that took him off-guard. I know that the Holy Spirit was involved because the things that I told him also surprised me.
Then, about midway through our conversation, he said to me, “So, you know a lot about me. —And, I’m not going to lie to you. —You are right about my problems.” Then turning to me, he said, “—So, what about you? What’s your problem? —And, don’t tell me there’s none, Every-one has a problem!” As he stood there waiting for an answer, he held his gaze. His eyes solidly fixed on me, waiting to see if I would tell him something truthful; and, quietly checking my eyes to see whether I would keep my integrity after talking to him so intently about God. I stood there looking at him, trying to decide if I was going to tell him anything truthful about my own lessons. –All those intimately personal inner lessons that I have learned, which I am now supposed to teach others.
“Come on,” He said again, “Everybody has got some thing!" Not responding, I simply looked at him, holding my gaze for a few minutes, quietly hoping that he would give up. Finally I said, laughing a little, “—You don’t really want to hear my issue.” But, undeterred and still waiting for me to answer, he said,“—Well, You may not want to tell me; but, I really want to hear it. —So come-on, —everybody has got something!” Meanwhile, looking at the concrete sidewalk in front of me, I hung my head and I quietly said, “Well, my issue is forgiveness. It is the thing that God has worked with me the most. —It was my lesson and is my weakness!” He looked at me stunned, and said, “—What! Oh man!
–That’s worse than mine! —That’s worse than everything! At least I don’t hold any grudges against anyone. “Uh-uh,” he said, shaking his head. “—That’s worse than everything!” I sat down on the park bench in front of us, looking away. “It’s true,” I said quietly, “You’re right. It’s worse than everything else. —God hates it.”
The truth is that, that homeless man was right! We all have an issue. Even the Apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, had an issue so painful to him, that he called it a “thorn.” A problem that the Bible says, he asked God to remove “three times.” And yet, God decided not to remove the problem. That’s where we get the verse “...And He said unto me, My Grace is sufficient for thee: for My Strength is made Perfect in weakness...” 2 Corinthians 12:9
We are all struggling with some “thing.” Something that God allows us to work out only by coming to Him. Yet, even then, He may keep it in your life; since, it may have been the only reason that you came to Him in the first place. So remember, every person needs your prayers. –Especially, those whom God has charged with the responsibility of caring for or guiding others. It keeps them grounded, cared for, and it keeps them human. --But, most of all, it keeps them connected to God. L.
Study Reference: 2 Corinthians 12:7-12, Micah 7:18-19
From: “Your Thoughts: Thorns.” In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions for Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
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