Suffering Christians Encouragement for those who are hurting


The Thorn

by Martha Snell Nicholson

I stood a mendicant of God before His royal throne
And begged him for one priceless gift, which I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
I cried, “But Lord this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange, a hurtful gift, which Thou hast given me.”
He said, “My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee.”
I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,
As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace,
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face.

HT: Justin Taylor

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NLT
So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. 8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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  1. Thank you for that post, well received, much needed & appreciated..

  2. You’re welcome. Thank you for commenting.

  3. This poem touched me in the depths of my soul. I prayed for a second child 19 years ago and the Lord answered me with a question “Are you able to drink the cup that is before you?” I hesitated and counted the cost and replied, yes Lord, if my child has a disability, I know you will give me the grace to handle it. Shortly thereafter I conceived boy/girl twins!! At 9 months of age, we discovered my son had autism and we have prayed, fasted and done every natural earthy resource of therapy to assist him! God has given us 2 precious love gifts (on Valentine’s Day) however the journey of blessing and pain has been a true revelation of God’s love, mercy, grace and power and strength being made perfect in our inabilities to find wholeness and healing for our son. Thank you Martha for this glorious insight!

  4. I can’t imagine what that’s like since I don’t have kids. I’ glad you like the poem.

  5. This touch brings me to the reality that the adversity the Lord has brought into my life is to strengthen me. The things I am learning, I may have never learned without suffering. The pain and depression i am feeling has a purpose.

  6. I was deeply touched just now as I heard Steve Saint quote this beautiful and wise poem. Thank you for giving such beautiful expression to God’s faithful love and sanctifying zeal.

  7. You’re welcome.

  8. Steve Saint quoted this poem as it is very meaningful to him. Through an accident he has become paralyzed and is having to learn to walk again and to use his hands. The poem is certainly applicable to difficult situations.

  9. Here’s the poem I was telling you about that Steve Saint quoted.

  10. My precious Jesus has privileged me to experience His grace for the last 15 years suffering from a serious, debilitating leg problem. Pain is constant 24/7 everyday. Caregivers are jaded against empathizing my pain. Many blessings have been wrought through the pain: I witness to my caregivers and visitors about my Jesus’s grace and love; I am able to do things from my bed that would not be possible if I was normal: taking online college courses to obtain my college degree in Religion; and many other blessings. Ms. Nicholson’s poem, The Thorn was quoted by Justin Taylor in his book, Suffering and the Sovereignty of God. May my Lord Jesus spread the blessings of this poem to many others.

    • That sounds like quite an experience. Sounds like you are suffering well. Thank you for commenting.

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