Saturday, April 12, 2014
What Do You Wish You Could Change?
2Cor. 12:8 Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me,
2Cor. 12:9 but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
People have speculated about Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.” Many suspect that it was his poor eyesight and that his prayer was that God would remove this burden from him. Whether it was his eyesight or something else that he considered a weakness, Paul knew that he had issues in life. Even the great Apostle Paul who daily lived out his love for Christ struggled with human frailty or infirmity. He seemed to struggle with the fact that he wasn’t the greatest preacher, or that he had to work as a tent-maker for a living and then he may have also prayed for 20/20 vision. But these things did not change in Paul’s life, and yet he did not waver from the faith.
I’m sure there were times that Paul thought he could serve God so much better if only…. Yet here we catch the understanding of Paul. The power of God is made perfect in weakness. It is in our weaknesses that God can be glorified.
Let’s be honest, there always seems to be something that we wish we could change about ourselves. The problem is that we can use our weaknesses as an excuse when it comes to serving God. We begin to create an “if only” list of items that “if only” I had these abilities God would be able to use me.
Paul is telling us that it’s time to put away the “if only” list and jump in wholeheartedly in service to the Lord. Why? Because it is when we bring our weaknesses to the Lord that God becomes glorified. When God takes a shy little girl and uses her in the work of the kingdom, then it is God that is revealed and he is glorified! When God takes a half-blind man and has him write letters that change the world — it is God that is glorified, and not the skills and abilities of the man. When God takes a young man who has struggled with dyslexia throughout his entire educational process and transforms him into an articulate preacher of the word, then God is glorified!
God’s grace reaches out to each and every single one of us and touches us at the point of our human frailty. Only when we submit that frailty to the infilling of the Holy Spirit can it be made whole. Power is brought to completion or perfection in weakness. If we are filled up to the brim with our own skills and abilities, then how do we leave room or space for the working of the Holy Spirit? When we are weak, then we can be filled with the Holy Spirit and it provides space for the “power of Christ” to dwell in me.
Do you really wish you could change anything in life, or might we be grateful for our weaknesses for it is in these that we get to experience the strength of the Lord! Maybe we ought to stop trying to change things and embrace the One who wants to fill us with everything!
Lord, thank you for your promises and sustaining grace today. Amen.