2 Corinthians 12:9
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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
We often think of Paul as a super Christian who did everything that God expected of him and never suffered any disappointments in life because God blessed him. But Paul suffered from physical problems that he begged the Lord to take away. And God refused him.
We don’t know exactly what Paul’s ailment was. Some have suggested that his eyesight was failing. It could have complications due to being beaten and left for dead, being shipwrecked three times, or sitting in cold, dark prisons. Or it could have been any number of other things; Paul just refers to it as his “thorn in the flesh.” It was an ailment that apparently wasn’t going to get better on its own without the Lord healing it.
Paul’s ailment caused him to rely on God’s power and not his own. Every time Paul tried to do something but couldn’t he was reminded that God was in control. If God wanted him to do something, He would provide a way for it to happen.
These reminders caused Paul to boast about something that most people would complain about. They were constant reminders of God’s goodness when God provided ways of working around his physical short comings. And they were also a reminder not to grumble because things could be worse.
Paul had God’s grace and that’s all that he needed in order to accomplish whatever task God gave him to do.