Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weakness and Strength

I reviewed a wonderful passage in my morning reading today:

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 ~ "To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Now, this is a passage that I've known and held dear for a long time... but, of course, it meant that much more to me as I read it today. I was reminded that Paul's difficulty, or "thorn", not only kept him from pride; it also was a means by which God's power was displayed... and not just to Paul himself, but to those around him, too.

Paul begged God to take his "thorn" away. Can you imagine him going before the Lord in prayer time and time again asking to be done with his difficulty? Hmm... sounds like someone else I know! Yet, God's firm and repeated answer was no. Why? You'd think that the apostle Paul of all people deserved some relief... but God had other plans. He had a purpose in Paul's trial... and if he keeps saying no to me, then he's got a purpose in my trial, too. Certainly, I would love to have my "thorn" removed (don't think I haven't asked)! However, I know that God is working through it in many ways.

There's something else I remembered when I read this passage today. God's power is made perfect in my weakness. I can't even begin to express how tired I am and I still have such a long way to go through treatment. I just don't think I have the strength to do it... no, I know I don't have the strength to do it. But I think if Jesus was sitting next to me in the flesh right now, he would say it's OK for me to not be strong enough. He would take me in his arms and say it's OK for me to feel weak because that's when I can rest fully on his strength. He will be strong for me!

So, my prayer for today is not only that I will learn what I need to learn through this time; it's also that God's power will be revealed in my weakness both to me and those around me; and that I would have enough faith to simply accept being weak and rest on him to get me through. I know he can!

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