Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Promise of Power in Weakness!

As we wish one another a Happy New Year along with prayers for peace and blessings, the reality is that many among us live a life of pain and suffering. What can we wish for those people? Healing? Yes, of course. But God does not choose to heal everyone. Witness the Apostle Paul.

Paul prayed three times for his affliction to be lifted from him. Yet how did God respond? "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

This morning I was reading Judy Gann's The God of all Comfort (Devotions of Hope for Those Who Chronically Suffer), Living Ink Books, an imprint of AMG Publishers, 2005. On page 23 she wrote the following:

"I watched as my energetic coworker darted through the children's area of the library (italics mine). Familiar pangs of jealousy pricked my heart. I yearned for even a smidgen of my coworker's vitality."

Gann talks about the sting of chronic illness--both physical and emotional as she wrestles with the pain of limitations and weakness. But quickly she returns to God's promise of grace, even power, that is made perfect in weakness. "Without the thorn of chronic illness, I would miss the daily blessing of drawing on God's strength. When I exhaust my own resources, my thorn spurs me to trust solely in God's power."

So, along with our prayers for healing, let's also ask God to give those who suffer an awareness of His promise of grace so that they may experience His power in their weakness. And when it's our turn to suffer, let's remember this for ourselves.

What has your suffering taught you that you can share with others?

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