This past Mother’s Day, my daughter Karlye made a bowl in school for Katie. Now this was a bowl made and painted by a 4th grader, and it looked as such. When Katie opened it up that Sunday afternoon, Katie said… “It’s Perfect, I love it!”. She was so happy to have this oddly shaped and hastily painted bowl, because it was made with love by her daughter who loves her. It was not made perfect, but it was ‘perfectly made’.
Each one of us is perfectly made by our creator as well. Not that we are perfect, for there was only one perfect person to grace this Earth and that was Jesus Christ, but that the design God used in creating us was perfect. Every flaw, every issue, every challenged, planned to perfection. Now some go their whole lives without ever connecting the dots of how their imperfection was part of God’s perfect plan. Others of us make some guesses as to why things are as they are. But we will fully know on that glorious day, why God did what He did in creating us.
Paul talks of an imperfection of his own (though not with much detail) in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. He refers to the “thorn in his side”. This thing that obviously bothers him about himself, he came to realize by revelation from Jesus that it was there to keep him humble. You see Paul had a lot to brag about as far as his being a Jew. From a humanly perspective, he had done everything right. But God tells him in v. 9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
What’s interesting is that Paul doesn’t talk about a ‘weakness’, he talks about a ‘thorn in his side’. If this thing were merely a weakness of Paul’s and something he accepted about himself, it would not be a thorn. We all have those little imperfections that we openly accept about ourselves. I do not believe this is what Paul is referring to. In order for it to be a ‘thorn’ it has to be something that deeply troubles you. Then despite the depth of irritation it creates, your reliance on God’s grace instead of you somehow solving or dealing with this thing… that is where God’s grace shines and His glory becomes known.
Think about that thing you struggle to be made known. That thing that deep in your thoughts, you are not happy about and perhaps even keeps you awake some nights. The thoughts that can even interrupt your prayers at times. The thing that you’ve even gone to God multiple times (as did Paul in v8) and asked Him to remove. Yes, that thing, is your thorn and is there for a purpose. God wants you to glorify Him anyway, despite His seemingly lack of response to this prayer request. The grace He has given you, completely undeserving, is fully sufficient.
God did not make you perfect in the eyes of humanity. God did not make you perfect even in your own eyes. But He did make you and when He was done, He said… It’s Perfect! Thank Him for that and glorify Him always.