And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
II Corinthians 12:9-10
A few weeks ago, we had a guest speaker in my Connection Group Class at church. Her name was Lori. She is a friend of my group leader and while vacationing in Florida she was gracious enough to stop by our class and share her story. Lori is a precious child of God who has experienced great hardship and loss in her life. Her story was full of raw emotion as she shared her journey of 10 years of infertility which included numerous failed IVF treatments and a failed adoption. After 10 years, she was finally able to get pregnant. She carried her baby to full term and then through an unforeseen complication during labor, her son only lived for several hours. How absolutely devastating and heartbreaking! My first thoughts when hearing a tragic story like this is, “do we serve a cruel God?” If you are in love with Jesus and serving Him the best you know how, why would He allow such a tragedy to occur? How could God allow such emotional pain and suffering of one of HIS children?*
How many stories have you heard of unspeakable loss to one of God’s own? There are countless stories. Maybe you are one of them. How do you reconcile that the world that God created is full of such pain and loss? That His own beloved are suffering here on this earth. Wouldn’t it make sense that those who choose to live a life glorifying God would be the ones with the least problems in this world? In human terms, doesn’t that just make sense? Maybe you think this about yourself – I try to please God and bring glory to Him, yet I live in a world of pain. Why is that? It’s a tough one to answer sometimes. It has been in my thoughts and recent discussions with friends and family. I honestly don’t know that I have an absolute answer.
It is no secret that the Christian life requires faith. It requires full out trust in a God whom we cannot see with our human eyes, nor touch with our hands. I admit, sometimes that can be difficult, especially in the really dark times. It is in life’s painful moments, that our faith is tested. Do we only trust Him in the good times? Can we really trust Him in the bad times? Does He really love me and want only what’s best for me? How could Lori’s story be the best for her? How could that be good in any way? My human mind struggles at times to comprehend it. I read the Bible, I BELIEVE the Bible, I have faith that every word is true, but my human reasoning sometimes gets in the way of my faith and trust.
My mom says that one thing she regrets about raising her children was not teaching us that “life is hard.” I really don’t think that she needed to teach us that. I mean sooner or later we all learn that. Life is just hard sometimes. Finances, marriage, relationships, jobs, parenting, health. We all experience the hard times and that’s just the way life is. But I am a child of God. Do you know what that means? It means that he has PROMISED sufficient grace for me. It means that I CAN trust Him. It means during those time of “weakness, insults, distress, persecutions, and difficulties,” that it is an opportunity for me to help shine the light of God’s grace to a lost world. That during these times I can rest in assurance that His grace is perfected in my weakness. When I am at my weakest, it is then that I am strong with His grace and unfailing love. These are the promises to cling to in the rough patches of life.
Sufficient grace doesn’t mean that there will no hurt. There will always be hurt. It means that we have One to run to, to cling to, to cry to, when life gets too hard. Life IS hard at times, that won’t change. But my faith and trust is in a God that loves me, even when I don’t understand. Even when I fail and the doubt and fear creep in and even when I can’t see Him or trace His hand in a situation, His Word always remains true. And that’s what I’m clinging too!
*To finish the story … Lori now has been blessed with a healthy, beautiful little boy. God’s grace. And thank you to Lori for sharing your story to inspire others to glorify God in the rough times.
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