Thorn in the Flesh — Continuing Pt 3 :) Why can’t we just let his grace be sufficient?


PART 1

Do you have those days when homeschool is a “thorn in the flesh”?  Don’t you dare answer that with a “No”, you KNOW that there have been days you have “yellow bus envy”, days when you think how easy it would be to pack the kids off to the local public school (or private school).  You know you have thought of how neat and clean your house COULD be if you didn’t homeschool……especially when unexpected company pops in and the homeschool bomb aftermath is still scattered across every single surface of  your home.  You know you’ve thought of all the worthy goals that you COULD accomplish in community service, if only you had those 8 free hours that “school” would provide you.   You know that you’ve occasionally wished for just 15 minutes of nap time or silence…..only to hear the “mom, I’m done, now what?” come from across the room.  The days when you’re just so tired, so burnt out, so “not creative”, so dazed you can’t function. You know you have, even if you feel too guilty to admit it.  We all have those days, so stop feeling guilty about it and just accept the fact that it is in fact common and normal.

Paul once complained of a thorn in his flesh, this does sound alot more painful than homeschooling does it not?  God’s answer to him….”My grace is sufficient, in your weakness MY strength is made perfect”.   Lord have mercy, poor Paul, right?  Here he has prayed three times asking God to remove this thorn from his flesh, by now a festering sore no doubt, and God says “nah…not gonna remove it, but I will give you the patience and grace to endure it”.  Ohhhh man!   Now, Paul could have pouted up on this one and nobody could have blamed him at all…..but he didnt.  What did he do?  Well, in case you don’t know the story, Paul decided to BOAST of his infirmity because THROUGH it, God was glorified.    Surely many people saw the festering wound (if it were a literal thorn) and wondered at the fact that Paul carried right on smiling and preaching, singing God’s praises.  I certainly would be in awe, and am in awe, of someone who in spite of extreme pain, pressure, discomfort, circumstances, etc. who not only perseveres but PRAISES GOD for the thorn!  Far better are they than me I fear……I’m more like Martha…..eeeeeek did I just really confess that?  (Martha….you know….the complainer)

We all have “thorn” days, it is all about how you handle them.  You can press on and thank God that at least you have this day, at least your child is here in the land of the living, at least you are here in the land of the living, at least you have this opportunity to homeschool them, at least you know that HE is there with you each step of the way, at least, at least, at least.   Or, you can do what I sometimes fall into the rut of doing……I call it the “But Lords”… “BUT LORD!!! you called me to this”, ” BUT LORD, you said you’d be with me every step of the way, so why aren’t you rescuing me yet?”,  “But Lord, if you want me to homeschool why is it so HARD?”, “But Lord, I’ve done everything I can possibly do and this kid STILL CANNOT________________ (fill in your blank)”,  “But Lord, but Lord, but Lord”…….and then ONE day….he asked me why I was changing his NAME to  “BUT LORD” instead of “Lord God”, “El Shaddai”, “Jehovah Nissi”, “Jehovah Jireh”, “Jehovah Rapha”, “Jehovah Shalom”, “Ancient of Days”, “Jehovah Shammah”, “Jehovah Tsidkenu”, “Jehovah Mekkodiskem”, “Elohim”,  “Jehovah Saboath”,  “Jehovah Raah”, ” Adonai”, “El Elyon”,  ” El Olam”…….you get the idea.   He pretty much TOLD ME….that in ALL of the names he used to reveal himself, he NEVER ONCE called his name “BUT LORD”.

Yea….I’ve been whipped.  Whom the Lord loves, he chastens.

PART 2

Imagine this if you will;

Your name is…..Bob.

I am speaking to you…..and so are a few other people….but you hear us all….and we’re in kind of a crowd.

but I am calling you FRED….not Bob.

“Hey Fred, I need a favor over here, could ya help me out?”

you look at me…..”is she talking to me?” you think

“FRED…YO…OVER HERE….I SAID I NEED SOME HELP DUDE, CAN YA LEND A HAND?”

you cock your head, a furrow between your brow….you’re confused….I’m LOOKING directly at you….words are coming out of my mouth….directly towards you….but I’m not using your name, and so you just kinda….sit there….in stunned silence…..”she knows my name…why is she calling me Fred” you think…..

Suddenly….I say to you  ” Oh man, BOB….I really need you, you’re the ONLY one who can help me.  Could you please come down here and just help me out, please…I love ya man…I need your help…and I know you’re the ONLY one who can give it”

NOW you know I’m serious……I’m speaking DIRECTLY to you….I’m speaking your language….I’m showing you the RESPECT of calling you by your RIGHTFUL NAME…..and so you come…and you help..and the job is done.

PART 3

You know, when Jesus “taught” us how to pray….using the Lord’s Prayer….he demonstrated a great lesson in that  FIRST and FOREMOST— He demonstrated ACKNOWLEDGING GOD for WHO he is (OUR FATHER)  and HIS POSITION OVER US (WHO ART IN HEAVEN) and RESPECT FOR HIM (HALLOWED BE THY NAME).   Being that Christ’s “prayer lesson” was the ULTIMATE guide to prayer….I still don’t understand WHY I get the “martha’s”, I don’t understand why I can’t be MORE like Paul….BOASTING of the thorn….because the mere FACT that of boasting of the thorn instead of COMPLAINING about the thorn….is the example set for us in the “greatest” of the apostles.  He was pretty clear….” I prayed thrice” and THE LORD SAID  “My GRACE is SUFFICIENT”.   WHY WHY WHY can’t that be ENOUGH for me?  Why can’t I just say  “thank you Lord, thank you for the thorn…thank you for the lesson that the thorn teaches….thank you for demonstrating the sufficiency of your grace THROUGH this thorn….let this thorn be a TESTIMONY of your grace”…..why do we have such a hard time with this?  I know I’m not alone here…..alot of you guys must do it at times as well 🙂    RIGHT?

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