Reverend Joshua Goodin
“Live With It”
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NRSV)
There are some things you have to learn how to live with it. It’s one thing when you can see a hit coming, it’s another thing when you don’t see it coming. You have to take on some hits that you have never seen coming. Some losses you didn’t expect, some pain you did not ask for or agree with, but you still had to experience it. What do you do when God sends you a bug that knocks you off your feet, and you never see it coming? What do you do when it seems that you’re in the position where you’re doing what you’re supposed to do, serving the way you’re supposed to serve, giving the way you’re supposed to give, and yet God still allows blows to keep coming your way? You may think that you should just do what you want because it seems like you get fewer hits when you do things your way. Who are you to determine what someone should live with? You have to move to a place where you stop trying to be the judge and ruler and understand there are some things that you have to live with, that even though you didn’t ask for it, God has equipped you with the proper tools for how to be able to survive with it.
*You can live with it because your thorn is specifically tailored for you. Thorns are personal, that’s another reason why you have to learn how to stop judging people too soon because you think they have it better than you. It’s not that they have it better than you, they just know how to handle their thorns better than you. You show people when you’re going through something by how you show up. Sometimes you have to learn even when you don’t feel like it, go get your haircut, get your hair done, wash your face, beat your face, or do something even when you’re going through it because people don’t always have to know you’re going through something. Learn that if you show up to the house of God, God will give you the strength to be able to keep living with, what you have been dealing with. God will keep giving you the strength to get up in the morning. Sometimes what you’re living with can get the best of you. Your week can be going well and then the following week can be a bad week. Show up in your truth. If you don’t feel like it, and someone asks how you are doing, tell them you’re not doing too good but you’re here. Sometimes you can get your greatest blessing when you don’t feel like it.
*Even in living with it, it will be painful. When you see a hit coming at least you can brace yourself. You can plan for it. Sometimes when God hits you, even though the impact may be powerful, because he allows you to get hit, he will also show up as the spotter to make sure the hit doesn’t destroy you. Be grateful that when you show up in places that God didn’t direct you to, his arm is able to reach you and make sure what should have killed you didn’t. Thank God for his goodness and mercy that follow you all the days of your life.
*The reason you can live with it, is if you didn’t have it, you wouldn’t pray as you do. Sometimes you don’t pray as much until you get into a situation. You pray morning, noon, afternoon, and evening, during the midnight hour when you want God to come through for you or get you out of a situation. Around the clock prayer, because you need God to come through for you, you seek him more. God allows you to experience some thorns because he understands that one of the best ways to get your time and attention is by allowing you to go through some things. If you keep praying even when you’re not going through it maybe, you might minimize the thorns and suffering that you’re welcoming into your life. God doesn’t want to see you down, because if you’re down then you can’t be productive. When God was mad with people in the Old Testament, he wiped them out. If God wanted to take you out, you’d be dead. You think that you can out-slick God. If God was done with you, he would have cut you off a long time ago, but the fact that your still here today means God still has more work for you to do. Regardless of what your age is, if God is keeping you around there’s still an assignment that he has for is hands to do. Why are so many people lazy and unproductive in the house of God, because if you’re not producing and not doing what God has called you to do, he will cut you off. Some of you are not working because you’re burnt out. As much as you feel like your wick won’t light anymore, because God is still keeping you, he will come and renew. You may be saying you can’t take another thorn, but God is using that thorn as a new wick in your life to reblaze and reignites the fire that has gone out.
*You can live with it because you’ve been positioned, placed in the proper proximity that you’re seeking God. When God answers you, he answers three ways, a yes, no, or a not yet. Do not confuse when God says no for a not yet. Sometimes you think if you keep serving and being diligent that it will change God’s no to a not yet or to a yes. When God says no it means you don’t need it. As hard as it is to swallow a no, God is preserving you from what’s trying to kill you, because if he said yes to it, he understands that it would start eating at you. He says no because he doesn’t want to see you destroyed. Stop crying about God’s no and learn how to shout on God’s yes and be patient on the not yet. It’s something about giving God ultimatums, that never works out in our favor.
For some reason, you think that what God has called you to, you’re supposed to die in it. When God has blessed you with a burden you have to do it until he says so. Sometimes you allow what God has assigned you to do to be a heaviness on you because you take more on yourself than you should. It’s like the wax around the wick in liquid form and if the fire blows too close to the liquid the flame will go out. That’s why you don’t have the joy that used to, the peace that you used to, or the desire to serve like you used to because you allowed what God was using to reignite you to blow out your flame. What are you around, who are you surrounded by that keeps trying to blow out your flame? God says if you get in the right position even when people try to blow out your flame they can’t because he’ll make the trick be on them. God will set you up in such a way that when you’re in the right position because you’re connected to him every time, they think your flame is going out, it’ll keep coming back. There are people that you’re around that all they come to do is blow out your flame. God says don’t worry about it and stand still, he’ll take care of your enemies, the people who will try to blow out your flame. God will give you grace to be able to live with it. Get excited about grace because you should thank God for the favor that’s on your life. Favor will put you in places that you don’t deserve to be, and open doors for you that should have been opened for other people. Favor will follow you in places that you thought that God would not favor you. God will make sure he gives you enough grace that when you feel like you can’t go another step with it, he’ll refill your tank and give you more grace. God is going to give you enough grace to keep walking with him, keep talking, and keep serving with what he will not remove from you. God is using the thorns in your life to sharpen you and make you better.