Before I went to bed last night I was thinking about Paul, and how within each story of the Bible there is someone each of us can relate to. I’ve always related to Paul. Not because I was knocked off my donkey, blinded, sent to prison and released, but because I too fought with God, and when I was done fighting with Him… I realized that I too love to write letters about Him. I love how Paul used to begin his letter:
“I thank God always concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus…”1 Corinthians 1:4
The other day I had an appointment with a Neurologist, and learned that I have what is called Essential Tremors (ET for short!) Until two days ago I had never heard of it, but the moment the doctor said, “You have what Katherine Hepburn had!” I SMiled and said, “Cool!” Now, I didn’t mean it was cool that I had it. I meant it was cool that once he added a name to someone whom I knew of, I could visualize what it was, and I was immediately comforted because for a moment Katherine Hepburn became a relatable friend.
This morning I came into my office, sat down at my computer, and realized that I went to the doctor’s because… from the moment I wake until the time I fall asleep I am aware of every nerve within my body. I realized that my sense of smell has been gone for a while, and that’s probably why I have to remind myself to eat. I also realized why I’m in the comfort business. Why it’s so important for me to pray for those who are hurting, scared, uncertain, worried, or simply sad… I’ve been blessed to survive many illnesses, and the funny part is I don’t ever go see a physician until I don’t have a choice. It actually took me over 2 years to ask someone the “why” of how I was feeling. I’ve always believed that if I pray hard enough for something, I will get what I pray for, but this morning my good (relatable) friend, Paul showed up to remind me that not every prayer in life goes the way we’d like it to…
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5
And Paul also suffered his afflictions…
7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 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. 10 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: 7-10
I must admit that I’ve read that verse hundreds of times, and it wasn’t until this morning where I truly understood what my friend Paul, was saying. At this moment in my life I’m at the bottom of what the world would call a pit. I owe everyone (accept my mother.) I still owe for my last surgery, and my business expenses seem beyond catch-up-able, but I also realized… that I never asked to have tumors, or be given Lupus, or growths that appear where no growths should be allowed to appear. I also realized that I design comfort for ill children because no matter how old I get… I don’t want to grow old with an illness. I do what I do because I can relate to whom I do it for. It’s a constant reminder to me of the importance of giving. I also realized what Paul meant when he shared this…
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me… 2 Corinthians 2:7
What Paul was saying here was that in order to keep Paul from thinking he was the one who was able to do all things, God gave Him the grace to experience all things, and when we truly believe in Christ we understand that Satan can only torment us if we let him. If we don’t let him than we use the experience to give God the glory for showing Satan that we can accept all things by the Grace of God.
It’s weird, but for some reason I’m no longer upset that God didn’t remove any of my thorns… and the reason why?
Thorns grow on Roses!
And, the real lesson I learned is this. For nearly two years I kept praying that whatever I had would go away. When I finally was beaten up and exhausted from it, I simply went to the physician who could answer my questions. Now, I found out there is no cure, but… who cares. As long as I’m given another day… no matter what that day looks like, I’m going to thank God for all the beautiful thorns within my life, because even roses only last but for a moment, and the trick to life is to notice when the rose blooms.
I also love the fact that Essential Tremors is called ET for short, because it’s a great reminder to me that anytime I need to find the comfort within my heart all I have to do is phone home!
ONWARD TO SMELLING THE ROSES!