8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
Power. Strength. Ability. We are not wired to be independent little islands and yet we work towards a level of self-sufficiency that often negatively impacts our relationship with our Savior. Our weaknesses reveal God’s strength. I am often too busy making sure I have done all the things that I forget who is really behind them. And having an ability apart from knowing who has granted it can lead me to a “I did it myself” type of attitude.
Let’s be sure to give the credit where it is due. And rest in God’s good gifts of grace!
Some days are maxed out and others are slow and steady. And, ideally, there are days where we can unplug and be truly refreshed. Whether the days are fast and furious or calm and relaxing, God’s grace can carry us through.
We all have more influence over the pace of our days than we may want to admit. We agree to things and sometimes those things have demands on our time and then the pace of our day intensifies.
It is ok to take time to consider or reconsider where we are. Is the path we are on going to take us where we want to be? Do we need to step aside or step away from something? Or is God calling to move forward, albeit imperfectly, on a path? Does He work in spite of our shortcomings?
Of course He does. Our shortcomings are nothing new to Him.
God knows we have a certain capacity for any number of things. And His power is made perfect in our weakness. We don’t (and can’t) operate at 110% all the time in every capacity. It’s not realistic. So, while we may be letting ourselves down by not “keeping the pace” that we have set for ourselves in terms of whatever goal we have set, remember that it is more important to “keep the grace” that He holds for us.
The grace that God gives is enough for us and for those around us.
We need to trust His Word.
My grace is sufficient for you. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
Anything good you have received from me is a gift from God through me. I am an imperfect person, fraught with issues, but sometimes, there is this moment when something passes from God to you and God allowed me to be the message bringer.
Since the beginning, God has used a lot of ways to communicate with us. This list is not exhaustive. It is only meant to jog your memory. God can use all things — even regular people — to share His message:
The Holy Spirit
His Holy Word
a pillar of cloud
a pillar of fire
a burning bush
God is in the business of sharing His message from our messes so sharing what you have received from God is so important! Remember, as the messenger, we are not the focus. God’s life-saving message is!
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
There is nothing quite like the it-has-been-so-long-since-I-have-squeezed-you hug, the I’ve-missed-you hug or the I-don’t-know-when-I-will-see-you-again hug. Those are some serious embraces and there is so much packed into them! Even though they are embraces from different points of view they are embraces that say “Now, here we are, together! Hooray!” And that is where we must focus — on today!
If you are anything like me, you might want to know what the future holds, but there really aren’t any guarantees that we will take a breath tomorrow and there are no promises our dearest family and friends will either, so please hug the ones you love while you can. Embrace today.
I don’t believe this means we should live in fear but we should embrace our people and each day as the gifts they are. When our heart and arms are open to God’s gifts they are easier to receive. There are times we are left to wonder “what is God going to do with all of this?” but that is His job and will be revealed in His time.
But what about embracing the really ugly stuff? What about the “cacti” in our lives? Those pokey and uncomfortable and painful situations that have been inserted into our lives by way of our own sin, someone else’s sin or the sin and death that we have in this world. What then? Often we have no choice except to ask God for the grace and mercy to move forward.
His grace is sufficient!
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. [2 Corinthians 2:8-10 NIV]
No matter the circumstance, God can and will redeem it for His purposes. I am not to the point where I delight in insults and hardships and persecutions and difficulties but I have seen God’s grace time after time in my life and yet I still need reminders! It’s a part of my human condition.
Lord, I don’t know my future but I trust You will provide me for the grace and strength to get through it!