“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 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.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
As much as I wish we never met, I am no stranger to the physical and mental ailments of sin in this world. Most days, I am a joyful, bubbly bundle of smiles. But ever so often, I am attacked from without and within with a onslaught of harmful thoughts and painful reminders of my own fragility and finite existence in this world. Have you felt like this recently? Or ever? Has the weight of fear, pain, anxiety, and uncertainty pressed down on you so that it is hard to lift your head towards the hills from which our help comes?
Sweet sisters, our weaknesses are the perfect lens to gaze upon the beauty and strength of our God. Whatever our struggles are and however harsh they may be, they are not bigger than the One who has made death itself submit to His rule and reign (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). The thorns which pierce our sides and gnaw at us relentlessly are perhaps there to loosen our embrace on this world and cause us to look towards a place we were made for by the glorious grace of God. Perhaps the very thing we are praying for God to remove has been permitted to strike us so we can be comforted and embraced by the loving arms of our Father in Heaven who reminds us, “My strength is made perfect in your weakness”(2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Can you boast in this? Can you thank God for the thorn in your side, just as you praise Him for the crown of thorns His Son wore as He took His wrath for you? Can you rejoice in the taste of affliction in your wounded life, knowing you have drank of the Wellspring of life that flows from the pierced side of our Suffering Servant?
Sisters, we have not suffered to the point of shedding blood. This fragile life and its woe won’t last forever. It will turn out for the good. He who is faithful has promised us this. Hold onto Him. He won’t let go.
Thank You Father, for Your goodness even in the trials in life. It won’t be long until we see You face to face. Please keep our eyes fixed on You and not our own plights. You are good. No matter what. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.
What is your boast? In times of heartache and weakness, who/what do you turn to?