The Big Question: Why Does God Give Us Thorns?

by Elena Tafone

“In order to keep me from becoming conceited. I was given a thorn in my flesh…” wrote the Apostle Paul in a letter to the Corinthians. “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Thousands of years later and biblical scholars still debate exactly what Paul’s “thorn” was. Whatever it was, Paul contends that, while painful, this thorn was a gift in disguise, one that kept him humble. God gives us all “thorns”—trials ranging from minor grievances to serious struggles, like a diagnosis of cancer or a lifetime battle with addiction. But why? Here are some thoughts on why God puts thorns in our lives…