Have you noticed how much happier the birds are on a blue sky dawn than on a gray dawn? Their happiness seems magnified if you’ve been cursed with the need for hearing aids—it sounds like they’re perched on your shoulders as they sing their hearts out. Those frustrating but essential devices are my thorn in the flesh (among others in this aging body). Like Paul’s thorn, the same device that gathers all the voices in a crowded room to overpower the voice of the nearest one with whom I’m trying to converse, also gathers and magnifies the voices of God’s winged creatures as they sing His praises. Avian hymns in the worshipful serenity of sunrise are a special grace. His glory is enhanced in my weakness. The park becomes hallowed ground, a place of perfect peace. I feel born-again with the dawn, and His glory is my great joy!

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor. 12:7-9).


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