Strength In Weakness

2 Corinthians 12: 7b - 10

7b Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. 8 Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9 but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

Dear Sisters and Brothers ,

Greetings in the peace and love of God, demonstrated through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I give God thanks as I share another devotional with you. As many of you may know, you have not heard from me due to a respiratory infection which was leading to a possible pneumonia. Respiratory infections are difficult for everybody to battle but for somebody who has two transplanted lungs, it is even more problematic. I am thankful my healing and recovery continues to move forward.

During the time I was hospitalized and healing at home, I had more than enough time to just breathe, pray and meditate. There are many places in our sacred texts which both comfort and inspire us to trust in God and bask in God's love and grace. Over the years, the above insights have been essential to my life of faith.

See, it is amazing how quickly I got sick but how slowly I was healing. You ever find that to be true? I mean on a Tuesday I had a cough, by Thursday I was in the doctor's office and then by Wednesday I was in the hospital. In a total of seven days I had so quickly declined.

Now the recovery has been going on two weeks plus. Why can illness happen instantaneously, yet healing rather incrementally? How can life fall apart in a sudden moment of tragedy or trauma and take a lifetime to restore? I often wish there was just a magic pill, a click of the heels or a scrunch of the nose (remember Bewitched) to restore everything back to where it was!

Here is where the understanding comes in, as Paul found out where three times he asked of God to remove his suffering, his thorn in the flesh. Three times he prayed. Three times he pleaded. Three times he shouted and guess what, the suffering remained.

But the suffering was still present, what Paul shares is the understanding that God was still present too. The sacred spirit of Jesus does not leave us in our difficult moments but remains with us. God's grace is always and forever present. Yes, in our bodies we may be dis-eased, in our minds we may be dis-tressed, in our souls we may be dis-heartened and yet God has promised in our frailties God is with us. God's grace is sufficient.

The grace and love of God is where healing and restoration begins and continues. Walk in God's grace. Live in God's grace. Be yourself, with all the brokenness and frailties we have, and experience God's grace. Through the grace of God, you will experience God's healing presence and power in your life.

Love, Pastor G

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