At the start of a new year I was reflecting back on many events in my Christian life. My early Christian life with Christian brothers and sisters was cut short, due to my husband’s work, when our family went to another land where the culture and language was different. Many aspects of everyday life were more difficult because of these differences.
My first powerful prayer was sent up when I had breast cancer. I had no family or friends near me at that time. My husband was working hard to provide for his family so he too was also under stress. The desperation and anxiety of what was going to happen to my daughters, who then were only 4 and 7 years old, caused this prayer to come out of my mouth; “Help, Lord. Please show me You’re here”.
After that prayer I seemed to get carried through each circumstance that followed, or I found strength to make decisions for each situation as they arose, not always the right decisions, but grace always seemed to be there to bring me through. When my children grew up and left home, I became hungry and thirsty for more of God’s order in my family life, so I started to pray even more.
Recently God has been showing me another aspect of His grace. The apostle Paul talked about having a thorn in the flesh, although it does not say exactly what is was. He says ‘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 12:10).
Paul had such a knowledge of Christ’s faithfulness and provision that he knew Christ would strengthen him in his weak areas, which caused him to delight in them all. This is so different from me, because I allow the enemy to cause me to focus on my handicaps, limitations, and areas of lack. I get pulled into feelings of pity, frustration and anger, which isn’t the place where I can draw on Christ’s strength.
But if I draw on Christ’s strength, a fresh breeze of the Holy Spirit comes to help me in my pity, frustration and anger, and gives me strength. I’ve found that drawing on Christ’s strength in my weakness becomes easier when I’m devoted to seeking His face and trusting He’ll show up, just like He says in His Word.
‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’ (Hebrews 13:5). ‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor will my covenant of peace be removed’ (Isaiah 54:10).
I don’t know about you, but I want to be like Paul, and delight in the knowledge that Christ is always there to provide for me and strengthen me in my weak areas. I don’t want to focus on what’s wrong, but on Christ’s unfailing love for me.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that You never leave me or forsake me. Thank You for Your unfailing love, and that Your covenant of peace with me will not be removed. Help me to come to the place to receive Your strength in my weaknesses, so I too can boast of Christ’s strength in my weaknesses. Open my heart to be able to receive this incredible gift of love, peace and strength where I need it most for Jesus’ name sake’. Amen.