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.”
II Corinthians 12:8-9 (NIV)
I don’t understand suffering. Pain, heartache, sadness seem so antithetical to the love, joy, and peace that we claim is the Christian experience. I don’t understand why our first and only stop isn’t Heaven instead of earth. But here we are, and in this world, we do have tribulation. All of us have crosses to bear. In his book, “Desiring God’s Will,” Dr. Benner writes, “We experience good and bad in our childhood. But Jesus’ invitation is to accept the givens of our lives and follow Him. We experience love and betrayal in our marriages and friendships. But Jesus’ invitation remains the same, to accept the givens and follow Him. – We want to either fight against the suffering or ignore it. What Jesus asks is something quite different. – We can choose to acknowledge the suffering rather than ignore it. And while holding it, we can choose to look toward God. If we do, we discover God looking toward us.” The mystery in all of this is God’s grace. Grace stands between us and our pain. It is the salve for our breaking heart. It is the presence of God amid our darkness. It is the strength in our weakness. God promises it will be sufficient. He promises. Today, don’t turn away. Quit running. Lay down your burden and follow Christ. He is sufficient.
Father, I come to You. Only You can be my strength. Only You can give me the grace I need. I look to You, dear God, for You promised, Your grace will be sufficient.
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