the Secret of Strength 2Co 12:1-10
It is a sublime phrase- a man in Christ. We reach our full stature only when we are in Him. We are but fragments of manhood until the true man is formed in us. Of course the presence of Jesus is always with us, but its manifestation is reserved for special emergencies, when it is peculiarly needed. It is thought that this supreme revelation was synchronous with Paul’s stoning at Lystra, Act 14:1-28 . While the poor body was being mangled, his spirit was in the third heaven, that is, in Paradise. What a contrast between being let down in a basket and being caught up into glory! How indifferent to the derisions of men is the soul that lives in God!
We do not know what this thorn, or stake, was-whether eye trouble, or imperfect utterance, or some deformity in appearance-but it was the source of much suffering and many temptations. At first Paul prayed for its removal, but as soon as he learned that its continuance was the condition of receiving additional grace, he not only accepted it, but even gloried in its presence. May we not believe that all disabilities are permitted to drive us to realize and appropriate all that Jesus can be to the hard-pressed soul!