In my life that phrase has taken a different twist. The “eyes” have it. This refers to a problem with my physical eyes. For the past thirty or forty years I have been plagued by headaches resulting from an eye problem. Sometimes the headaches are bad enough to cause nausea. Doctors have tried numerous medications but nothing, except migraine medications, control the problem. I average one of these headaches every 6-8 days. They are not as bad as a traditional migraine, but they are a major problem for me. However, they have taught me some valuable lessons about life and they have affected my spiritual journey.
First, you can only do so much in one day. Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matt. 6:34) When I push too hard (reading, computer work, interviews, driving, etc.) I get a headache.
Second, pace yourself. This truth is contained in Matt. 6:34 as well. When I push too hard, too fast, I get a headache.
Third, take time to rest. “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matt. 6:26) The birds know how to rest and relax and depend on their creator.
Fourth, admit your weakness. Every person alive has weaknesses. For some it is eyes. For some it is the stomach. For some it is pride. Paul had a thorn in the flesh. Some are diabetic. Some have other diseases. Learning to admit your weakness goes a long way in coping with it.
Finally, my trials, no matter how big or small gives me a reason to comfort others. Paul spoke of this in II Cor. 1. He spoke of the “God of all comfort who comforts us in all our tribulations that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (vs. 3-4) I realize headaches are small in comparison to the trials Paul endured for the sake of the gospel.
I mentioned Paul’s thorn in the flesh (II Cor. 12:7-10). Paul learned something of the grace of God as He prayed that God would remove his thorn. God’s grace enabled Paul to minister to others in spite of his thorn. It is my prayer that we will allow God to use our thorns to minister to others as we learn more and more about His grace.