“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.’” (2Corinthians 12:9)
Sometimes, it is easy to forget that nobody’s life is perfect. Everybody has an issue, or a struggle, or a barrier, or a fault… that makes life more difficult than we would prefer. Sometimes these problems come from beyond ourselves – but they amount to things that we wish we didn’t have to face, or deal with… we just want them to go away so our lives would be “better” (or at least, less frustrating!).
It’s strangely comforting to know that the apostle Paul had this struggle as well. Apparently, what he faced was pretty overwhelming. He called it a “messenger from Satan” (12:7) sent to wreak havoc on his personal life… and to wreck his ministry.
What I find most interesting is God’s attitude toward the apostle’s problem. God could have intervened to alleviate the apostle’s frustration. God could have made it go away completely. But instead, God chose to make it a teaching moment – to impart something that was more beneficial to the apostle than his mind could fathom.
This is more important than we often realize. We always seem to want God to fix our problems, make our troubles go away, place our feet on “easy street.”
But He has a greater purpose – greater than our personal convenience or comfort.
God takes it pretty seriously when we want Him to be the Lord of our lives. He takes our commitment to Heart – and makes it His commitment to bring what is best to (and from) our lives. And sometimes… what we think, and what He thinks, are totally different things.
At the heart of the matter is one primary goal. God wants to make Himself known, as He really is… and He chooses to do that through our little lives. Only they aren’t so little to Him. They matter greatly. They have more purpose than we realize. And one of His main objectives is to fill our lives with His purpose.
We don’t like it much, but sometimes God’s purpose carries hardship with it. Mistreatment. Pain. That’s what the apostle learned… and shared with us.
IF the story really IS God’s grace… then the most important thing is that His grace becomes SEEN. God tells us that His grace is seen most clearly and abundantly through our weaknesses. Through our struggle and hardships.
Strength is (often) ALL us. Weakness tells the world it isn’t us at all. It is God IN us, working through us, doing what He deems best.
We get to be the one through whom HE works – showing Himself (and all His amazing qualities) through our weaknesses and frailties.
God’s message to us, whenever we feel weak, troubled, anxious, or worthless, is that it was never about us in the first place. It is always about Him… and about His grace being seen in, and through, our lives – and He will be faithful to remind us of the fact that His grace is always sufficient for whatever we face!