What was Paul's thorn in the flesh?


How are you? Can you help answer this question and elaborate on it? What was Paul's thorn in the flesh, when Paul says he prayed three times that it may be removed?


"And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

We aren't told, and there isn't enough information given to even speculate, though that hasn't stopped most people. Because he said it was a thorn in his flesh, we can assume that it was a physical ailment of some sort and probably the "infirmities" Paul later mentions.

Does it really matter that we know the precise problem? Not really. We're curious, but the answer doesn't change our understanding that it served a purpose -- to keep Paul from becoming prideful. And that though Paul wanted it gone, he learned to be content with matters as they stood. Understanding its benefit, he could even be somewhat happy to have the problem. "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:11-13).

By not knowing, we too learn to live with our own difficulties instead of getting side-tracked saying, "He just doesn't understand what I'm going through."