“A thorn was given me in the flesh…..but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:7,9
Steve Saint lost his father, Nate Saint in the jungles of Ecuador when Steve was just a few weeks short of his fifth birthday in 1956. But that great and tragic loss would not be the end of the suffering that this dear brother in Christ would endure. When Steve grew up, he married Virginia Olson and together they had four children, 3 boys and finally a girl whom they named Stephenie.
Stephenie was a beautiful courageous young woman who was loved by all. She was a devoted Christian who decided to put college on hold while she toured for one year with a Youth For Christ singing group. On July 23, 2000, 20 year-old Stephenie returned home for what was to be a joyful family reunion. But within hours of returning home, a terrible headache forced her to her room, where she soon slipped into unconsciousness and died that very night due to a severe cerebral hemorrhage!
On June 13, 2012, while working on equipment designed to help indigenous Christians, Steve was seriously injured, and as a result he was partially paralyzed from the neck down. During his partial recovery, he endured extreme pain. Yet through tears, Steve quoted the following poem, written by Martha Snell Nicholson:
I stood a mendicant (beggar) of God before His royal throne And begged him for one priceless gift, which I could call my own. I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
I cried, “But Lord this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart. This is a strange, a hurtful gift, which Thou hast given me.” He said, “My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee.” I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,
As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more. I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace,
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face.
Steve Saint turns 72 tomorrow, and the thorns he has faced in this life have enabled him to enter into a much deeper level of intimacy with his God! By God’s grace, may the thorns we face accomplish the same!