A Thorn In The Flesh

Finding Strength and Hope amid Chronic Suffering... Pablo's newest book is wwritten from his own perspective of suffering from a chronic eye disease for many years, but also his wisdom as a psychiatrist, psychotherapist and church leader. He uses St Paul's "Thorn in the Flesh" as an example and encourages us to keep on chosing to see hope in these situations, and to see Christ made perfect in our weakness. Not a tendy answer, but probably the right one!

Understanding and helping when you have a thorn in the flesh (situations of chronic suffering) is not an easy task. We need to focus on the light of hope rather than on the darkness of the trial; to speak of victory rather than defeat; not to be paralysed by the thorn's venom but rather strengthened by the supernatural antidote of grace. Victory is forged along a costly road that ultimately leads to serene acceptance and to experience the power of Christ that is perfected in our weakness.

What is a 'thorn'? Pablo Martinez knows all too well first-hand. For more than twenty-five years he has suffered with a rare eye disease. Others have experienced traumatic loss, too terrible for words. Pablo meets these people all the time through his work. In the context of our salvation, Jesus suffered more than any person has ever suffered. God's identification with human tragedy is perfectly expressed in the name Emmanuel: God with us.

Humbly and wisely, Pablo guides us beyond the 'why' of suffering to a place of hope. Of particular help is his exposition of 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 where he covers the 'Thorn' of Paul and discusses why it is that at times God does not remove suffering when it seems that He so easily could.

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Pablo Martinez, 12/10/2009