In St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church he works hard at defending his status as an apostle – that is, the one who has seen the risen Christ and has been sent by God to preach the gospel. In the letter he mentions the “foreign in his flesh.” We don’t know exactly what that “thorn” is and scholars have varied all over the place trying to decipher it. Nine years ago I sustained an injury to my spinal cord that it left me partially disabled. In the last 18 months I have developed arthritis in my spine which has exacerbated the problem. I suppose this could be considered a “thorn,” especially if it prevents me from doing what God called me to do. Thankfully, I love to preach, I love to teach, and I love face-to-face contact with God’s people, encouraging their faith. I heard a good bit of the time – but, like St. Paul, I am not daunted – not in the least because Christ is at work in me and He is stronger than anything that can bring me down.