The Lord 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. 2 Corinthians 12: 9 – 10
During the last few days, I have had several people on my mind and heart. Just like we all do, there are times when I feel so burdened for others, my heart aches for what they are going through, and my thoughts and prayers are constantly with them.
Sometimes we just don’t understand and we may question why, but gratefully we have a God who understands how we feel. He understands that I, or any of us, would find it almost impossible to express joy or delight in their painful circumstances, or to give thanks for what they are going through. And we all realize how difficult it would be to find even the smallest amount of gratification in going through such agonizing situations ourselves.
Yet, I, like many of you, know from experience that these can be the times when we may grow closer to Him, when our faith may have the opportunity to grow, and when God may use our current situation, now or in the future, to bless others. I also know and believe that when we are weak, God will make us strong. The power of Christ will rest upon us and give us whatever strength and grace we need to get through these difficult times, and it will be sufficient and filled with His love. We can’t always see the big picture or understand why those we care about, or we ourselves, have to go through the painful things we do, but God does. Trust in Him we must. We have His promise that His grace will always be sufficient.
I love this little story which illustrates it so well:
“A little piece of wood once complained bitterly because its owner kept whittling at it, cutting it, and filling it with holes, but the one who was cutting it so remorselessly paid no attention to its complaining. He was making a flute out of that piece of ebony and he was too wise to desist from doing so, even though the wood complained bitterly. He seemed to say, ‘Little piece of wood, without these holes, and all this cutting, you would be a black stick for ever – just a useless piece of ebony. What I am doing may make you think that I am destroying you, but instead, I will change you into a flute, and your sweet music will charm the souls of men and comfort many a sorrowing heart. My cutting you is the making of you, for only then can you be a blessing in the world.’ ”
Dear God, forgive us when we are weak and our trust is not what it should be. May we believe in your promises to lift us up with your strength and grace. Even when we don’t understand the things that happen in our lives, we know you do and that you will carry us through. Be with those who are experiencing painful and challenging circumstances and enfold them with your loving presence and comfort. Amen