This Day in History: 0000-01-26

January 26 – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 

So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.  Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.  Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”  So now I am glad to boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  That’s why I take pleasure in my weakness, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ.  For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

What a difficult lesson this is to learn, am I right?  Human wisdom teaches us, from a very early age, that strength is found in independence and self-reliance.  It goes against everything in us to embrace our weaknesses and find strength in total dependence on God.  Even the Apostle Paul had a hard time getting to the place where he could let go of his pride, and embrace his weaknesses.   

What is it that’s making us feel weak right now?  What is it that feels like a pesky little thorn, sent by Satan to torment us?  Whatever it is, let’s re-examine it together.  

First things first, have we prayed about it?  Have we asked God to fix it?  If not, let’s start there.  Who knows, maybe He will.  But, if we have prayed about it, (repeatedly) and God seems silent, then could it be that He’s trying to teach us something about relying on Him?  Could it be that this is one of those weaknesses that will likely stick with us for the rest of our lives, and might actually have the potential to grow our faith beyond our wildest imaginings?  

What’s the reason we want God to take it away in the first place? Is it pride?  Does this “thorn” tear at our egos and cause us to feel inadequate in the presence of others?  Oh, friend, if this is the case, may we allow ourselves to come face to face with the fact that on our own, we are inadequate!  Every one of us is flawed.  It is only through the grace of God that we are able to do anything of value here on earth.  Let’s fight the urge to allow that fact to cause shame in our hearts, and instead learn to boast about our weaknesses – as they point out the power of God.  As the song says, “His grace is enough!” 

It’s not easy! We’re going to each have a really hard time with this one, but let’s do our best, just for today, to rejoice in our weaknesses.  Let’s spend this one day giving our best effort to seeing the powerful grace of God in the insults, hardships, persecutions, troubles, and weaknesses we face.  As we do, let’s take pleasure in His power, working through us!  Let’s do it again one day next week, and then the next.  Let’s begin to make a habit of obedience in this one area.  As we do, we will begin to see that as His children, when we are weak, then we are strong!