But he said to me, “My grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 (New International Reader’s Version)
Take it from personal-and present-experience: there are days that life is going to overwhelm you with everything including the proverbial “kitchen sink.” You’re assaulted from situations that are close to you. If it’s not your personal health, it’s the health of a loved one. If it’s not some financial situation you’re contending with, someone near and dear to you is going through. If you’re a parent and/or a caretaker, it can be even more overwhelming.
These life situations can make you pull your hair out, scream, and run out the door naked never to return. “Somebody, shoot me” becomes your personal mantra (or prayer). You ask God “Where are you?” “Why me?” And if God were to show Him/Herself, you’d try to strangle Him/Her. Take it from me, it can do a number on you.
However despite it all, Paul’s words come to me tonight in the above text. Paul was given “a messenger of Satan” to put him in check, so Paul would not boast about some celestial stuff he saw. Paul asked the Lord three times to remove this “thorn in the flesh,” however the Lord gave him the above verse as a reply. Now me? I would have given God a “WTF?” reply. “I’m going through some shit right about now and you tell me that all I need is Your grace? Don’t you see what I’m going through?” I would ask.
However, when I calm down for a minute and listen to God, I realize what He/She is saying. God’s reminding me that His/Her grace-that power that is imparted when I’m powerless-is sufficient for me. That God gives me strength for the journey all the time. There are times I may not feel it, or believe it, however I come to realize that God does just that. And believe it or not (take it from me), the only way we can become Divinely strengthened is to be weak. When I say “weak” I don’t mean being a wimp. It means that when we’ve spent out all of our human strength and feel as if we’re at the end of our rope, that’s when God’s power can work through us-giving strength for the journey. Being “weak” allows us to drop the “strong” facade and our ego, and makes us receptive to this power.
You see, our strength only goes but so far. Our finite human strength can deplete at any time; the apparently strongest individual could burn out overnight. Plus our human strength is based on the physical. However, God’s strengthening grace transcends all levels of human existence and does not deplete; it’s based on the spiritual and transcendent-independent of time and space. It’s strength that is truly sufficient.
We’re going to face shit from life that will work us to our last nerve; and will work on our spirits as well. I wish it were otherwise, however this is the case for us. However, let us be thankful and glad that God has strength for the journey available to us.
Makes the journey easier.
(Image by Me: Looking North on Bloomsbury Road, Milford, NJ)