Wednesday, October 21, 2015

HOPE in weakness

7-10 Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10The Message (MSG)
From my August 29, 2015 Blog:
“The night I was saved by Grace also happened to be my first of many trips to the emergency room for my now terminal lung condition. God had been restoring my HOPE as I fell in love with Him but that night as the chest pains increased, my breathe decreased and panic was on the verge of setting in; I was left wondering if my new faith was useless. After the year I had with my abusive, mentally ill husband I could have easily believed that my medical troubles were divine retribution.”

I had a choice: I could both cower in fear and be miserable or I could dig into God’s word to be equipped and empowered to face each day with a thankful heart and a confident faith. So, I started digging in and wouldn’t you know it God provides guidance, direction, knowledge,
compassion and understanding on each page of the Bible. As I read Apostle Paul’s letter I saw my own desperation for relief and understanding and I saw the answer to my troubles: gladness and cheer. Gladness through a HOPEful, positive outlook had been what I had strived for my whole life and that gladness was fueled by my own strength. Now my gladness is rooted in God’s strength through the power of Christ and in the gift of Grace.
These verses also provided freedom to question, doubt and struggle with the “thorn” in my side as long as I was handing it all over to God so I could continually be healed and be made whole. I felt free to worship and praise God even as my right lung collapsed and eventually stopped working. I had freedom to rejoice in the day I was given and not worry if I would wake up the next day because I would arise: either here on earth or in Heaven. I had freedom to shout my joy and peace in the Lord because these verses had provided me concrete evidence that God is love, God provides and He is always near.
As my body continues to fail me these verses help me answer the toughest question we can ask ourselves, “what is the worst case scenario?” The worst thing that can happen is not that I die in my 30s but that I stop living the life God has provided before it is truly over.
I must live out the HOPE I have from God’s gift of grace.
I have shared with you my struggles and failings. I have this knowledge, I have a strong faith and am madly in love with Jesus but I am still human. I do have all the answers I will ever need this side of Heaven because I have the book of LIFE at my fingertips and so do YOU.

From my journal, October 19, 2015:
“Mouth pain is the worst God, please help me if I am meant to endure it, help me to accept that and embrace the lesson it is meant to be. I am all Yours Jesus - I want to honor, worship and glorify you through the pain.”

Laura Story’s song, “Blessings” brings 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 to life for me.

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