I sit in the extra bedroom on the sheet-less bed. The room is filled with packed trunks; we are readying to go out into the village again. I pick up the bundle of letters; one of my most prized pieces of cargo that I brought with me to this country. Before I left the States, four dear friends wrote me letters, each with a different theme, each filled with life-giving words. I untie the blue ribbon and search the envelopes. I pick up the one that reads “When the days feel hard.” I know the handwriting well; I yearn to see and embrace the precious friend who penned those words. I carefully break the seal of the envelope; it’s the first time I’ve read this letter.
I pull out the card bordered with gold, blue, and pink leafing and read.
“‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’
2 Corinthians 12:9
May the hard walls of hard days come crashing down. May he replace your air with His grace. Because He said it was enough.”
Weakness. Does it have to come back here again, Lord? And I cannot fight the tears that come as His truth washes over me. I turn the card over.
“‘God didn’t change Paul’s physical condition, He changed his spiritual one. He gave him what he needed more than healing. He gave him the high ministry of heaven called grace. Paul not only accepted the answer, he learned even to be thankful for weakness itself, for ‘power comes to its full strength in weakness.’ –Elizabeth Elliott”
Grace: the high ministry of heaven, Father’s delight to give. And I wonder if perhaps when we find ourselves in hard situations, if we lose sight of the point of tribulations. Because there is a great mystery wrapped up in all of our trials: this never-ending grace upon grace, God’s ongoing ministry to us. Weakness makes us vulnerable, and sometimes vulnerability makes us perceived as weak. But when the prize is so great, how can we not own the weakness within?
And it’s not just grace that we gain, but the very power of God. The power of God, working in us and through us
The nature of each of our trials is uniquely specific and the Lord knows all of our needs. But I have found that in the worst of times it can be the best of times too because Jesus is near, we must only lean in; He said his grace is enough.
You may be tiring of me, dear reader, for prattling on about weakness again, but I just want to learn this lesson now rather than later. I want to experience His grace more deeply, more abundantly and in that know His power too.
So, once again reader, friend, let us go further up and further in to the heights and depths of His sufficient grace. Let us not fear our weaknesses, but embrace their fortunes. Let’s receive the ministry of Heaven.