Monday, January 26, 2015

Grace, Strength, Hope

He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12.9

What a timeless verse! I've shared it many times here on my blog but its a passage of scripture that never loses power, never fails to stir a hope in me that surpasses whatever dark and weary emotion is weighing me down. The word 'grace' itself has several meanings. There's the grace that brings to mind a ballerina, pirouetting gently. There is grace as in being courteous. And then, the grace as in unmerited favor, offered freely, giving us eternal life. Grace is also the word I chose for this year as an area to concentrate on and grow in.

We all struggle with a weakness. Some physical, some internal. We are, after all, fragile 'jars of clay' as Paul puts it. I think of all the times I have struggled to find energy to do the thing that lies before me.When physical ailments challenge me the thing I need to do instantly becomes bigger. When I'm having a dark day internally, the thing I need to do can quickly get pushed to the bottom of the list. It's sometimes easier to pull the covers over my head and hide than try to forge ahead. It's on days like this that this verse saves me. Think about it. Christ is saying my weakness works to His advantage. If I am feeling strong and confident, I won't likely turn to Him. ("I can do it myself") Christ says it's when I am weak that He does His best work. It's as if being weak is the whole point!

And what about the next part of that passage?

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

God says "my grace is sufficient" but the take away for Paul was to boast about it! And not just to boast, but to also be content in it. I've said before that with chronic depression I have found ways to be thankful for it. It has made me all the more dependent on the Lord. I do feel like Paul, in that I have prayed-- and been prayed for-- that the depression would leave and I wouldn't need to take my little mood stabilizers anymore. So far it's not happened. And I'M OKAY WITH THAT. Because the power of Christ lives in me. I have learned to be content with my condition, with the gray days and the low energy. I'm okay with others judging me when they don't know the whole story. I'm okay with the difficulties that a chronic condition brings. I'm okay with it ...and I am grateful.

Because... when I am weak, then I am strong.

1 comment:

  1. praying for this period to pass--in the meantime may the grace, strength, and hope continue to be your companions.


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