Thursday, April 22, 2010

In My Weakness His Strength is Made Known

I have a circumstance in my life that I wish was different. I have had it for years. I wish it would go away, but it won’t. It’s a circumstance over which I have no control. I’ve tried to ignore it, hoping it would go away. I’ve even tried to run away from it. But both of those options only made it worse. So I set boundaries around it, yet it remains.

I’ve prayed many, many times for this circumstance to be lifted. I’ve wept bitter tears over it. I used to be so sure that God would remove it and I waited for that because I just knew that God didn’t want me to suffer like this. I prayed Psalm 6 over it. “How long, O Lord, how long,” I asked. Yet the circumstance remained.

Finally, I started attending a Kay Arthur Bible Study, and what she said stunned me. In one of her videos, she said something like, “What if your circumstances never get any better? What if things never change?” I had never even considered that possibility!

At first I didn't like what she said. I didn't want to consider the possibility that my burden might never be lifted. But eventually Kay's teaching became a turning point in my faith walk--a milestone. Because she went on to say, “God’s grace is enough for you, not only in eternity, but also in the here and now.” Wow, I always knew God’s grace was enough to save me from my sins so that I could go to heaven. But I never considered that I could trust His grace for life on this earth (or even need to.) I guess I expected God to make life on earth easy, and never thought about needing His grace now.

Oh, I’ve come a long way since those days of expecting God to make life easy. He loves me too much to allow me to be lazy. He loves me too much to let me live without needing his grace. He loves me too much to let me wallow in my weakness. Instead, he uses my weakness to make his strength known.

Because of that one Bible study lesson, I quit waiting for my circumstances to change and finally began living. I stepped out in faith, standing on 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I knew how weak I was, but I also knew I needed to quit using that as an excuse.

So, my circumstance remains. I wish I could say that I never let it bother me anymore, but I can’t. I continue to struggle with it. I continue to lay it on the altar, only to find that days, weeks, or even years later, I’ve picked it up again. But every time I realize that I’m carrying it again, I run to the altar, lay it down again, and with every bit of determination I can muster, I say, “I trust You, Lord, I trust You.”

What’s your circumstance? Is it a wayward child? Is it physical pain? Is it an addiction? Is it grief? What do you need to lay on the altar? I encourage you to do it today. Quit asking and waiting for God to remove it. Lay it down and with every bit of determination you can muster, say “I trust You, Lord, I trust You. Your grace is sufficient for me. Not only for eternity, but also for today.”

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!