I don’t mean to be overly dramatic. I really don’t.
And I don’t consider myself as someone who complains…and I’m not.
I’m a “roll with the punches” kind of guy.
I’m a “ya take the good, ya take the bad, ya take ’em both, and there you have…” kind of guy.
I’m in day 10 (maybe 11) of a sinus situation that has honestly–don’t laugh–made me think more than once about Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:7:
“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.”
Now before you think that I think that I’m some Apostle Paul, let me confess to you that I’m not. I can just relate to the idea of something bugging you to remind you of your humanness and complete reliance on God. And we’re never really told what the issue with Paul was. Some have suspected it was perhaps a case of the gout; a foot issue. Some have seemed to figure out that it was a problem with his eyes/sight. But no matter what it was, it was something that he sought the Lord’s help with. The next verse (8) tells us that Paul pleaded with the Lord 3 times (truth be told, I’ve only asked God to help with my sinuses once so far) to remove the “thorn” from him. God’s answer to Paul is a statement that has echoed through the ages, bringing strength, hope, and stability to the bleakest of situations–of which mine is not. He said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
DID YOU HEAR THAT?!?
DO YOU EVEN UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS?!?
HAVE YOU ANY CLUE WHAT KIND OF RELIEF THIS BRINGS?!?
Losers, rejoice! All you “not-quite-good-enoughs” stand and shout praise! Any of you “ain’t-got-it-in-me”, bless the Lord! For the throngs of all you wimps getting sand kicked in your face–give glory to God!
GOD IS FOR THE WEAK!
GOD IS FOR THE SICK!
GOD IS FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T ENOUGH.
GOD IS FOR THOSE WHO KNOW THEY FALL WAY TOO SHORT.
GOD IS FOR LOSERS.
GOD IS FOR REJECTS.
GOD IS FOR ME!
GOD IS FOR YOU!!!
When we embrace our shortcomings, our weaknesses, and our failures, and we come to God plainly and boldly with our pile of insufficiencies, God in His grace and power says to us, “You’re never going to be enough….but I’m always more than enough.” He kisses you on the forehead and says, “I see your weakness….now see my strength!” His arms embrace you and He whispers, “Let me show you all I can do in light of all you can’t.”
But we must come honestly. We must come plainly. We must come transparently to Him with all we are and all we’re not. And we say to God, “Here’s my pathetic underqualification.” And in His might, triggered by our confession He says, “Watch me do what you could never hope to. Watch me work in ways you can’t imagine. Watch my power fill you so full that you find that the weaker you become, the stronger I become.”
So, I glory in all my weaknesses today. Because my bold confession of my shortfalls is my invitation to God to be great and mighty in my life. And in one fell swoop, I am relieved of being good enough, strong enough, smart enough, or anything enough. All because HE is more than enough.
And Paul wraps up this section in a celebration of sorts–a wonderful declaration:
“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 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.”
It might sound silly to you, but after 10 days of poor sleep, difficulty breathing, countless tissues, hundreds of pumps from the hand sanitizer, and a myriad of medications, I can rejoice in weakness. I can rejoice in less than 100%. I can say to God, “I can’t do it today.” And with loving eyes He says, “Good.”