It came to me like a light suddenly being flipped on in a dark room illuminated by a night light. The kind of light that hurts your eyes, but then you can see across the room to the object you knew was there but couldn’t really see with only the night light given its limited illumination. Multiple Sclerosis is the thorn in the flesh “gifted” me by Jesus Christ. This “messenger or Satan” (2 Cor. 12:7) that harasses me is a continual reminder that I depend on Jesus for everything. I depend on him for physical energy throughout the day, for comfort in my despair, for life, for everything. God uses the “messengers of Satan” to serve us. In 2 Corinthians, Paul displays this openly. I have clung to his words, but I have received a new understanding. I don’t want MS. It drains me and limits me and causes me to go crazy when I lose feeling in my hand or my leg. I can’t even describe in words, and it’s not really possible for anyone to exactly understand it, anyway. But God’s promise remains: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). Back in October, I wrote this post relating my thoughts on this passage (real thoughts and thinkings, people). When I am weak, then I am strong. I want it to go away, but the more I ignore the MS tormenting my body, the more it takes advantage of making me miserable. If you ignore a thorn, stuck in the flesh, it won’t go away. Oh, why have I not seen this analogy before?
“God showing his strength through weak things was laced all through redemptive history, culminating in the cross” (Bloom). Oh, man, God is awesome. His grace is abounding. Through these thorns, he gives us JOY. He always is kind of opposite of the world. I pray that I’ll remember the MS as a gift when I struggle.
The college band I am in is on tour currently, and it is exhausting. I have been learning what I can and can’t do, and I am so ever thankful for the other people that help out. I play percussion, and the percussion equipment must be unloaded off the truck and set up before each concert—it’s a lot of work! I am the door holder, because I know I can do that. I help pack up, but there are extra hands that help with load up, giving me the opportunity to head back to the bus. I am so thankful to everyone who is helping the percussion section and me. I am so blessed by people all over! Thank you to you who are reading this who have been helping me out as we tour and elsewhere/other times in my life. You know who you are. MS as a gift? Still seems weird, but I’ll try it out.
Insight sourced: Bloom, Jon. “Are You Content with Weakness?” (Desiring God)