Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10.
Through the years I’ve occasionally encountered folks who told me that if they could just experience something “special” from God then they think they could come to believe, or would find continuing to believe an easier thing to do. I’ve never been quite sure they knew what they were saying.
For you see, Paul was a man who received something so special from God, a vision like no other received, that he was forbidden to even talk about it. The thing is though, I know what he received from Satan as a result of such privilege, too. Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” has generated endless speculation through the centuries, but we don’t have to wonder what it was like for Paul to live with it. He summed it up in a single word – “torment.” It’s results could also be summed up in one word – “weakness.” “God, do take this away from me!” was his repeated prayer.
No, rather than some special, miraculous privilege from God, I’d rather seek to grow in my heart an attitude like Paul’s toward God, Satan and life. A spirit of true humility and acceptance. A confidence in spirit that came from deep trust in Christ. An attitude that says:
“… 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.” (vs.10)
Special visions? I’ll pass. Thorns in the flesh? I’ll pass on those, too, thank you. But by all means:
Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, help me come to see that your grace and strength, come what may in my life, is truly all I need. Amen.