Life is full of heartache. Right? Some days can feel as if one more blow could send us straight to the bottom of the sea without floating back up. Some days, it’s our children’s choices. Other days, it’s our own sin. Yesterday it could have been your parents and today it could be your marriage. Everyday it could be an affliction or shame from the past. Whatever day it is, pain and weakness is surely present.
Unfortunately, I am prone to throw the towel in and give up when I reach the end of my rope. Sleeping or food make me numb. Tears and excessive worrying threaten my sanity. Anger and frustration seep out and grief and sorrow send me deep into a pit that is hard to climb out of. Sad, isn’t it?
Sad that as a believer in Christ, one who has inherited the very same power of the crucified Savior, I choose to roll over and cover my head with the heaviness of pain instead of rising and standing firm in the truth. Sad that as a woman running after Jesus, I think that giving up is an option after one more blow from life instead of planting my feet in the Word of God and hitting my knees in prayer to beg for help. That struggles mean that the end must be near and hopelessness is inevitable instead of fighting back in the strength of Christ and remembering His faithfulness. Pathetic, but true.
Now listen, I’m not trying to shame or guilt trip anyone. Believe me, Satan has that covered. He tries to do a number on me quite often. But what are we thinking when we view hardships as the very thing that will do us in? That circumstances and problems and heartache will be what takes us out of this world? What are we thinking choosing to moan and groan in discouragement and defeat when there’s one more bad choice or bad behavior that impacts our lives instead of praising the King’s name in spite of? Why are we wallowing in our weaknesses instead of remembering that the very same weakness is what should draw us near to the cross? Come on now, we need to man up. (or you know, woman up)
“Earthly weaknesses are a platform for perfecting and demonstrating the Lord’s power. “
Are you kidding me? Way to go Word of God for holding me accountable to the stance that I should have as a Christian.
Now’s the time to share with you the God story that jolted my whiny self into repentance this very morning. Remember Paul? Yes, the man who asked three times for the thorn to be removed from his life and yet, still pursued Jesus. He still ran after Jesus even in the face of pain and weakness. Let’s read.
So to keep me from being conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10
I don’t know about you, but most days I am not content with my weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. But I should be. You should be too. Our brother in Christ teaches us that it is the very experience that will make us understand the power of Christ and the fullness of His faithfulness. Our thorns are the very reminder we need to constantly lean into Jesus and realize that life without Him is impossible. Our breaking hearts and buckling knees are the very chance to receive the grace of God and utilize the power that only He can offer. The pain and the trouble should be what sends us straight to the Word of God to show us our next steps, the truth.
Maybe it’s repentance? Do it. Forgiveness? We have to. Give up control? It’s necessary. Put Jesus first? There’s no other way. Remember His promises? Reading God’s Word isn’t a choice, but our lifeline to the Savior.
Beloved, life stinks sometimes. We can beg and plead for God to take the stench away but sometimes He doesn’t. Don’t give up when you come to the end of your rope. Instead, lift your head and stretch your arms to the Savior. It is His power that is made perfect in our weakness.