“Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me — to keep me from exalting myself!” (2 Corinthians 12:7).
We have all labeled something or someone as a thorn in the flesh; annoying; a nuisance. For Paul, the pain of his thorn brought a much greater duress. Whether it was physical, emotional, or spiritual we are not told. The reality we share with Paul, however, is that the permissive will of God allows the pain and hardships of this life to be a formative part in the process of his shaping us into the kind of people we are destined to become, and to better perform the ministries to which each of us are called.