As I was reading the apostle Paul's accounts of his visions and thorn, something spoke to my heart. This man who had to make a u-turn in his life to find the truth, was both blessed and cursed for it. Not really cursed in the literal sense, but more humbled because he was given great insight into how God works.
Before he was humbled and changed, he thought he knew it all. So if God chose to let him see things others didn't, then his prior pride in what he believed and thought was the only way, might make him think he was pretty special. In the program we call that stinking thinking.
Paul called his visions "surpassingly great revelations", and because of these he received a Spectacular Thorn! He lived in a realm in his faith where there were great highs and equally low lows by human standards. Through his roller coaster ride, he never let go of the bar of protection and grace that kept him on the ride of faith, and if he got a little full of himself, there was that thorn.
We are both blessed and cursed for our own spectacular failures through addiction, yet the ones who recover, and find the Lord see things quite differently than those who have a relatively smooth ride through life. Like Paul, we see things, and we appreciate things that much more now, but if we get a little cocky, there is always that thorn of our drug of choice or the new one we created to take its' place.
Yet, when reaching out to others who were equally as lost as we were, that thorn becomes a Spectacular Thorn that can be used as a testimony to the surpassingly great vision of recovery through Jesus Christ.
To play off a well known phrase, Got Thorns? We could use you, and so could our Lord!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.