There was once a woman who had an issue. She did all that was in her power to make it stop, but nothing worked. No doctors could help her, no matter how much money she paid them. She was left to deal with it for the rest of her life...

We all have issues. Some have deeper strongholds than others, and some have more in number than others. But if you are human, you are most likely not walking around in perfection. (Having less of a problem than someone else does not constitute perfection.)

I discussed with the teens in Sunday School a few mornings ago of the thorn in the flesh that Paul spoke of in 2 Corinthians. He pleaded with the Lord for Him to remove it, but Jesus made it clear that His grace was enough for Paul to deal with the "thorn". In connection with this Scripture, we talked about the conquest of Israel. The Lord let the children of Israel know that if they didn't completely drive out all nations that were inhabiting their promise, that those nations would become thorns in their sides and barbs in their eyes.

Some issues are left for us to completely lean on the grace of Christ. Some are there because we simply did not allow the Lord to do a complete work in us in driving out sin. We deal with some things because of heredity, and then some because we have absorbed them from the people around us.

Regardless of what your issues may be, I offer this for you to chew on: do what the woman I mentioned in the beginning did. She had been left to deal with her issue for the rest of her life because no one could help her. Until Jesus. She pressed through the crowd and reached out for the hem of His garment. She knew that if she could just touch His clothes that her issue would be resolved. And it worked.

I challenge you to bring your issues, your thorns, your strongholds near the Lord daily. The only solution to our "stuff" is the grace of Christ. Sometimes He will take it away completely as with the woman, and sometimes He will leave it for a purpose as with Paul.

Regardless of the thorn's status in your life, please remember that it is not part of who you are. It's still a thorn. It's an issue that is to remind you to draw near to the Lord and trust Him to deal with it each day. And perhaps it will help remind you to have compassion on those around you who are dealing with their own stuff.

Father, I feel like sometimes I have more thorns than I want to count, but I know that they are no match for You. If you will take them away, that would be awesome. But if You choose to leave them on purpose, I will trust You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Mark 5:24-29, Numbers 33:55

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