Bible Readings: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Isaiah 30:15
In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from 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 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.
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and confidence shall be your strength, but you would have none of it.
It is quite wonderful watching babies grow into toddlers and gain in confidence, moving from lying down to sitting up, from sitting to crawling and from crawling to walking, with lots of encouragement: ‘Come on, you can do it!’ I remember our granddaughter getting cross with her scooter because it wouldn’t go in a straight line, ‘I can’t do it! she would complain as she kept veering off to he left’ ‘Yes you can, you just need to steer it with the handles, like this.’
We encourage our children as they grow towards maturity and independence, and whilst I am sure God wants us all to grow to maturity as Christians, to make wise and godly decisions, I’m not so sure he wants us to become independent, either of him or of our each other.
I’ve heard people pray that God would make them strong when they are struggling with something, and there are some Christian groups that long for the Church to be powerful. And yet St Paul, who was troubled with some sort of affliction, had learnt that human weakness can be the gateway to God’s power, that God’s grace is always sufficient for us, whatever it is that we are facing.
I wonder how many times fear of failure prevents us from doing what God might be asking us to do?
How often do we limit God to what we can do in our own strength, rather than ‘stepping out of the boat’ in our weakness, and learning to ‘walk on the water’ with Jesus?
What situations are you facing at the moment? Can you come to God in your weakness, put your trust in his power? There you will discover that his grace is sufficient for you.
As God said though Isaiah, ‘In quietness and confidence shall be your strength’.
Forgive me, Lord, for the times I have limited you by relying on my own strength and abilities.
As I recognise again my dependence on you, help me to trust in your strength, and in your amazing grace.
Great is your faithfulness (Your grace is enough)