“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).

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I may no longer be mastered by my struggles, but my struggles remain; they didn’t disappear. I realize that I must share in Christ’s sufferings, so that I may rejoice fully when his glory is revealed to the world (1 Peter 4:13); my victory in Jesus Christ! Thorns is the final installment of what has turned into a three part series, along with Depression and Then I Remember. I share from my personal experiences from my heart; I share what I believe God has graciously given me to fulfill His good purpose.

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). I want to take a moment to boast about a few of my thorns. I am not a natural public speaker, I find facilitation and administration extremely tedious. Even when my heart is swelling with compassion, I often struggle to find the right words. I am a loner, by nature, who most often struggles with near crippling anxiety. I am legally blind. I make mistakes, both willfully and unwittingly, every day. Yet, I am not ashamed, but instead, boast about all of these, because despite my flaws, God, in his infinite mercy and power, sees fit to utilize me. And his  mercy and power are not limited to me, by any means, nor is it limited to any other select few. His mercy and power are available to anyone willing to follow; those called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

As I surrender to Christ, I find that the Holy Spirit continues to root me in Christ, continues to build up my foundation in Christ, and continues to strengthen me in Christ, so that I may, in turn, further surrender to Christ. The promise of God to his people; a beautiful and wondrous cycle of grace. I find particular comfort in Hebrews: “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (4:14-16). I am a child of the Most High! We all have pasts, but more importantly, we all have futures. This is the God I worship; this is the God I love; Christ has bridged the gap and sent us the Holy Spirit!

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