One of the hardest things to do is to pray for a burden to be removed and know that the Lord chooses not to do so. Paul requested the “thorn in his side” be removed many times and the Lord chose to let it remain. Why would a loving God do that? While many have speculated what the thorn in Paul’s side might be, one should focus their analysis on the purpose of allowing the trial or burden of the thorn in his side. One of the many verses in the New Testament about one’s trials having a good purpose is in James 1:2-5. One is to be joyous because the testing is for spiritual growth of some kind. Out of the trial’s growth comes faith and endurance, producing perfect and complete wisdom of the Lord.
As one is going through the trial, the fog of the situation clouds one’s vision. Where the person blindly goes and how depends on where one’s spirit is with the Lord. The closer one stands and listens to the Lord through meditating prayer and reading of His Word, the better the situation goes. And out of the situation comes the kind of wisdom only the trial can reveal to each of us. This is the reason for the “thorn in the side” trial each of us experience. Not because someone “bigger” than us wants to punish for some seen or unseen sin one might have committed. This does not mean one’s sin goes unpunished, it means not all bad situations or trials are because of sinning. Many times trials produce the best spiritual growth.
When one reviews the trials of a life, it most often will reveal the best times of spiritual learning and the Lord’s wisdom come out of the times of greatest struggle. So like the double edged sword, the bad news is there will be cutting away and pain. The good news is like the pruned grapevine, the end product of this is delicious wisdom from spiritual growth.

Recommended reading is “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young, and the Bible, of course.