December 05, 2009

Encouraging Words 12/5/09-"The Thorn In My Flesh"

From Relevant Magazine:

"When will it be over?" I asked myself this question as I stared at the fresh cut on my arm. I’ve been in and out of therapy for most of my life, so I should be cured by now, right? Then why do I always end up back here?

The first time I knew something was wrong was in elementary school. I would often get upset at the smallest thing, from accidentally spilling something to getting an answer wrong. When I got upset I would smack myself in the head, cry, and scream. One time I got so upset that the principal had to be called into to calm me down. My classmates got a kick out of it, so they would often provoke me by calling me names. I tried to ignore them, but in the end they would always win.

Finally one day in sixth grade I had enough of it. I tried to kill myself by jumping off the monkey bars at recess. Obviously I wasn’t very successful, but when the school called my mom, she knew I needed help. That’s when I went to my first therapist. We saw each other for about six months, and we made some progress, but by the time I was in high school I was back in therapy again.

It was also in high school that I discovered cutting. When I first started, I didn’t know anyone else did it; I just wanted to see how far I could push the blade into my skin. It felt like all the pain I bottled up inside could escape through my cuts. I knew it was bad, but it was the only thing that gave me quick relief. It was the only thing that felt real.

Then when I was 17 a girlfriend led me to Christ. Before that I had always been skeptical of organized religion, thinking that it was just a way to control people. I was surprised to hear that God was not the far-right-winged tyrant that I thought He was; He was calling me to be His son. As I read the Bible I realized that Jesus came not for the people who got it all together, but for the hurt, the lonely, and the depressed. People like me. So I became a Christian, and that’s when the healing began. I learned how to forgive the people who wrong me, and how to rely on God.

So why do I still have these relapses? Why, after everything I’ve learned, do I keep going through these cycles of breaking down and repenting? The Bible mentions Jesus driving demons out of a man who hid in caves and cut himself with rocks. When would all my demons finally be gone?

It’s in these moments of questioning that I remember the thorn in Paul’s flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7). Although the Bible never says what exactly that thorn was, Paul writes about he begged the Lord three times to remove it. But then the Lord responds, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (verse 9).

Click here to read the rest of this story.

No comments:

Post a Comment