Among all the things that happen to us in our earthly pilgrimage, certain precious memories linger—recollections that remain by reason of the blessing they brought and the lesson they taught.
BY PARADISE AND THORN TO CHRIST
Caught up into paradise…a thorn in the flesh… My grace is sufficient.
II Corinthians 12:4, 7, 9
Paul’s paradise experience and the thorn given to offset it lest he be exalted above measure – from height to depth – were necessary to bring him to life’s richest experience, the daily sufficiency of Christ. We may need a crisis to precipitate the matter, bring it to a head, but trips to the third heaven and thorns in the flesh are incidental to life’s greatest lesson, to find in Christ Himself everything and draw from Him His resurrection life for body, mind, and spirit.
To stop short of that is to have an immature and inadequate experience. Occasional high days, answers to prayer now and then, temporary blessings, make an uneven and spasmodic Christian life. But to live day in and out, all kinds of days, in simple dependence on Christ as the branch on the vine, constantly abiding, that is the supreme experience. Not always glamorous and exciting but always sure, it is far better than an erratic, up-and-down, paradise-and-thorn existence. “A man in Christ” – that is it!