You told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Am I weak enough, Lord?
We may not always seek pleasure, but we avoid pain as quickly as possible. I have heard, "No pain, no gain." When is it no longer pain or suffering for our own good (sacrifice), but oppression and/or self-mortification? Most would rather stay as they are, satisfied that they are as good as they will be, and consequently as good as they need be. Some will sacrifice everything for a goal that brings nothing substantial.
Perhaps I digress. We do not need to seek weakness or suffering. It finds us, whether or not we desire holiness. And if we desire holiness -- and every Christian should examine her/his heart to determine if she/he really does -- then we need not desire suffering, but learn to recognize God's grace in these difficult moments.
I say "moments" knowing that our troubles do not last a short time. Perhaps if they were short, they would not trouble us. No. Sometimes our pain lasts a lifetime. However, we must work in the faith that in comparison to eternity this time will be briefer than thought.
I have digressed again. Paul tells us, "when I am weak, then I am strong." Often, I believe, we confuse this sentence to mean that the strength comes from us. With exercise, we tear the muscle fibers, and they are rebuilt stronger. We might think our exercise increased us, made us spiritually stronger. But it is God who created the body to work in such a way. It is not our strength which powers us after weakness, but God's strength which sustains and powers us during and through weakness.
Lord, you gave Paul a thorn to sustain his humility. Help us to recognize your grace in our trials and in this painful life, and to rest in your mercy and joy. Amen.