But [the Lord] 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
I am drawing a blank here today in terms of three separate writing assignments: A) – Trying to prepare some slides for my Sunday morning class. B) – Penning some words for this blog entry. C) – Finishing off an article I am writing for All-Pro-Dad.
The scripture we plan to talk about in my class constitutes a powerful word, and of course it is very applicable to my current predicament. In fact, thinking about it, Paul’s words are also relevant to the discussion we had in my Saturday morning men’s group, where the topic (this week’s “half-truth”) was: “God never gives us more than we can handle.”
If we accept that aphorism then what we are saying is that not only does God essentially toy with people’s resilience until pulling back just before the breaking point, but that the equation is balanced around what we can or cannot handle (our strength not his love and compassion) – and that doesn’t leave much room for grace, mercy, or a God who promises to share our burden (“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:28-29).
But that is not how God operates. While it is certainly true we have more resources at our disposal than we typically imagine, it is also true that when we surrender, when we own that we absolutely do not have what it takes, and when we acknowledge our personal need for God, it is only then that we truly become strong – because we are not standing alone anymore, because Jesus is standing with us, because when Christ’s power rests on us, then when we are weak we are in fact strong.
- because we are not standing alone anymore,
- because Jesus is standing with us,
- because when Christ’s power rests on us, then when we are weak we are in fact strong.
And here is what is wonderful. When we learn to rely on God then we become more in tune with the Spirit; and when we are more in synch in that way then we also tend to find strength where we did not realize we had it and we are propelled into action; and then it has become a partnership and not only are we stronger but God is stronger too.
Jesus invites each one of us to become participants in God’s ongoing initiatives of love, mercy, grace, compassion, justice, light, and promise. And when I realize that God does not invite me into anything we cannot handle together, Jesus and I, then I find that my power is made perfect not in spite of but because of my weakness. So I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, because what happens time and again is that Christ’s power rests on me.
– DEREK (full of sufficient grace)