2 Corinthians 12:7b-10: "... power is perfected in weakness."

Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me. But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me. So because of Christ, I am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in catastrophes, in persecutions, and in pressures. For when I am weak, then I am strong.(2 Corinthians 12:7b-10, HCSV)

Why do people usually wait until they're at the end of their rope to turn to God? It's like the drug addict who must completely deplete his resources before seeking help. While in college, I took a front brake drum off my '59 Chevy looking for what caused a noise. Because a '59 Chevy doesn't have self-adjusting brakes, I took a big chance. Unless I could get the drum back over the brake shoes without retracting them, I would need to adjust the brakes. I tried to get the drum back on until fatigue took over. Each try only got worse. Late Saturday afternoon, in frustration, I prayed, "Lord, you know I need this car to take Sunday School teachers to Abilene State School in the morning. I don't know how to adjust the brakes. So, if I can't get this back on, I won't be able to fix it in time." The next time I tried, the wheel seemed to jump into place. After hearing what happened, a church leader responded, "Confidence works wonders." While what happened wasn't a miracle in the strict sense, confidence was an inadequate explanation. While it might be a good explanation to someone else, to me it simply wasn't plausible. The last time my dad helped me repack that car's wheel bearings, he couldn't get the wheels back on without retracting the brake shoes and adjusting the brakes. He had much more experience than I. In fact, only immaturity got me into such a ridiculous situation.What caused the noise were loose wheel lugs on the other front wheel. It took a few minutes to tighten them up the next day.

Another example of God's grace intervening in weakness is when my father-in-law went with a group from his church in Bryan, Texas, to work with a church in Tartu, Estonia, for a few weeks. He, along with a group from the United States, was in downtown Tartu with the rain pouring down. They were having trouble finding the church they sought. Then, an elderly woman took them by the hand and led them to the church. Later, when they asked the people in the church who the woman was, no one knew. They never saw her again.

We can give endless examples of God's grace caring for us while vulnerable. How do we explain God's grace? I gave up long ago. When God gives grace to the weak, it seems inherently unfair to those left facing hardship. Consider the parable Jesus told about the landowner hiring people to work his field (Matthew 20:1-16).Only justice gives us a since of fairness. But, without grace everyone falls short (Romans 3:23 ). We are all too weak to make it on our own. A great gift is when God points out our weaknesses, so we realize it.

©2005 Perry Vernon Webb. You may quote this page in part or the whole as long as you
1) do not alter the wording and
2) reference this Internet page as the source of the quote.

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