As we continue to move forward with the current health crisis, I am reminded of God's promise to us through Paul the Apostle in 2 Corinthians 12:9 - And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." In this chapter, Paul was dealing with a "thorn in his flesh", as scripture entitles it. Many scholars explain this thorn as ultimately being an infirmity of some sort that served a purpose of invoking humility regarding Paul. This infirmity would cause great suffering for Paul to where at times it was unbearable. Paul prayed to the Father three times for it to be removed thus invoking the creation of this scripture.
Let us first understand what type of grace this verse of scripture speaks of as the word has various meanings, which can change the effectiveness of the true revelation.
The appropriate definition to bring understanding for grace is this, mercy (archaic - (of a word or a style of language) no longer in everyday use but sometimes used to impart an old-fashioned flavor. ) - compassionate treatment of those in distress.
Keeping in mind the aforementioned definition, God responded to Paul's prayer with this statement, My mercy or compassion is enough (sustaining/sustains/sustained) for you. We often times question the Father's motives for allowing or permitting us to go through some of the toughest situations in our lives accompanied by "this is more than I can bear." But in every instance we think we will be overcomed or drown by the pressure of the situation, here we are at another situation that now requires our focus and failing to acknowledge the former has now passed by only to embrace the new. I make a "loose" reference to 1 #Corinthians 10:13 - No temptation i.e. test has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted or tested beyond what you are able, but with the temptation or test will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. My purpose for this scripture is to remind us that the Father has not left us defenseless against the various trials, tests, or tribulations we go through in life.
Paul mentioned a few times in the focus scripture about resisting the urge to become boastful and found it necessary to denounce the desire because of who and what he had became to many. If we, too, do not guard ourselves against behaviors that are contrary to the characteristics of the Father, sin is at the door waiting for it to open. When looking back at the life of Jesus, his state was always of humility and recognizing the Father. The problem with boasting is it ushers in arrogance and haughtiness of which the Word of God speaks against. This is not to say we should not have accomplishments, but that in everything we give thanks and acknowledge Father God who is the creator of all.
Many of us are dealing with situations or perhaps, even a thorn in our flesh, as a necessary guard for us to remain humble in our times of exaltation and elevation. No matter how humble one may be, the flesh is always seeking to exalt itself. But know that not everyone will receive a thorn in their flesh like Paul.
My point is, whatever the Father has permitted He is yet showing us mercy/compassion though it is unbearable but not impossible to live with. When I think of the many people who are suffering from debilitating diseases like HIV/AIDS and the various types of cancer, it seems unbearable but yet many have learned to live with it and God's grace has proven to be sufficient.
God doesn't only love us unconditionally but it is through His grace, mercy, and compassion that we are not consumed by what we must deal with, and this is why His strength is made perfect in our time of weakness. At that very moment when you feel like giving up, His strength gives us strength to continue on.
Evangelist Nodella S. Jordan