Do You Have “a Thorn in the Flesh”?
1 We keenly desire to fulfill our commission to preach the good news to the best of our ability. Many of our dear brothers and sisters, however, find it difficult to share fully because serious physical ailments or disabilities interfere, making it hard to do as much as they would like. For them, it may be a challenge to cope with feelings of discouragement, especially when they see others around them so active in the ministry.—1 Cor. 9:16.
2 An Example to Imitate: The apostle Paul had to contend with “a thorn in the flesh.” He three times entreated Jehovah to remove the distressing obstacle, which he described as “an angel of Satan” that kept slapping him. Yet, in spite of it, Paul endured and pressed forward in his ministry. He did not pity himself or become a chronic complainer. He gave his best. The secret to his success in coping was this assurance from God: “My undeserved kindness is sufficient for you; for my power is being made perfect in weakness.” Paul’s weakness became a strength when he learned to accept his situation and to rely on Jehovah and holy spirit in order to endure.—2 Cor. 12:7-10.
3 How You Can Endure: Does human frailty impose limitations on your service to God? If so, imitate Paul’s outlook. Even if your illness or disability has no permanent remedy in this system of things, you can put your full trust in Jehovah, who understands your needs and will provide “the power beyond what is normal.” (2 Cor. 4:7) Take advantage of the help available to you in the congregation, not isolating yourself. (Prov. 18:1) If you find it difficult to share in the door-to-door work, search out practical ways to do informal or telephone witnessing.
4 Though a thorn in the flesh may restrict what you are able to do in the ministry, you need not feel left out. Like Paul, you too can “bear thorough witness to the good news of the undeserved kindness of God,” doing what your strength and circumstances allow. (Acts 20:24) As you put forth the effort to accomplish your ministry, know that Jehovah is well pleased.—Heb. 6:10.