It was a first-of-its-kind campaign, ambitious and innovative, and highly successful! Huddled in a conference room in Sydney, Australia, a handful of executives would present a concept for Coke’s summer sales campaign, an idea that would make headlines and capture a country’s attention. Project Connect, later known as Share-a-Coke, swapped out the traditional Coke branding on bottles and cans, replacing that well-recognized label with 150 of the most popular names of their consumers. The personal touch was a hit, and the campaign circled the globe, boosting sales, celebrating the power that adding a simple, personal touch to a can or bottle can wield.
We all love that personal touch, a hand-written note or card, a gift item purchased with us specifically in mind. We spoke yesterday of Paul’s thorn, noting that it was “given” by God, as a gift. But notice that we are never told what that particular thorn, or gift, was. The window to that thorn is kept closed; we are never privy as to what that “messenger of Satan” entailed. Perhaps God doesn’t specifically define Paul’s thorn so that we can substitute our own thorn, our own private battle, the silent cross we bear alone, in the shadows. We have an opportunity not only to read about this man’s struggle, but we can also make it personal.
If the thorn was a personal gift to Paul, as the wording “was given to me” indicates, so then was the grace to endure that thorn. God comforts Paul in his thorn-bearing trial by reminding him that “My grace is sufficient for thee.” I designed that thorn, that trial, for your good, Paul, and I will supply the specific grace that you need to bear your thorn; I will take your weakness and substitute My strength; I will convert your failings into My victories. As a child of the king, when I substitute MY name in place of Paul’s, that grace becomes specifically sufficient for ME, MY personal grace to carry MY personal thorn, just as it was for Paul.
What blessed consolation that is for me! My Father knows me for He created me. He understands my needs, my weaknesses, and my flesh, and He sees my silent struggles when no one else does. He sends thorns into my life, not to hurt me, but to grow me. But He also understands my frailty, my tendency to fall, so He designs His grace for me, and as it was sufficient for Paul, it will also be sufficient for me. The gift of my personal thorn was designed by my Father, as was the grace to bear that gift.
Oh, that I would be more dependent on that grace, that I would wrap it about me and lose myself in its embrace, that I would learn to approach my Father’s throne “boldly,” finding “grace to help in time of need.” He has that “grace to help” ready and available for the asking. May I learn to use that grace so that my thorns may be a testimony of His love and care. Take a moment to read II Corinthians 12:7-9 today and make it personal, then allow the thought that your Father designed a specific grace for YOUR life be an encouragement to your weary soul today.
II Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness…
Lord, as I bear those thorns You send in my life, help me to rely on the grace You provide to use that thorn for Your glory.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1437-63d9dc6baefd6' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1437&origin=wp.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1437-63d9dc6baefd6' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1437-63d9dc6baefd6' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>