Monday, July 7, 2008

Is His grace really sufficient for me?

So, my favorite verse in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 12:9, which says, "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." Basically, Paul had a thorn in his flesh, that he prayed to Jesus three times to remove. Three times Jesus said no. I really like the ambiguity of this section of Scripture, because we're not quite sure what the "thorn" is, whether it is some sin that he continues to fall into, a physical ailment, or possibly even an actual thorn. The ambiguity makes it very easy to apply to whatever thorn we have.

Since I got back from California, my thorn has been joblessness. I'd been looking for a job for about four weeks now, and today I got 2: one with Harkins and one with TEAM Security. I was very happy after both interviews today.

But I couldn't stay happy about this thorn leaving my flesh. When Paul was in distress with this thorn, which he called a messenger from Satan, Jesus told him that His grace was enough. Paul responded by saying that he would live with the thorn, because he knew that that was when Christ was making him strong. When I was patiently, and then anxiously, waiting for Him to provide me with a job, my response was not like Paul's. My response was more like, "God, I've been praying for a job, I've filled out so many applications that I've memorized my previous employers' numbers, I've even been reading my Bible some, and I still don't have a job. What's up with that?" And I started questioning whether or not God was going to provide. I started losing faith in Him; not to the point where I was ready to say, "Screw Christianity," but I'd forgotten the words that Jesus said to Paul, that His grace should be enough for me, not to mention the countless times He's provided for me in the past. It's amazing how our times of trouble can make us forget our times of joy, and how the two are usually not the same, despite what James 1:2 says.

I love the words of the hymn, "It is Well," because the first verse says (in the J-Ra paraphrase), "When times are good and when times suck, God, you have taught me to be content with my situation." That is how I should respond to God.

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


Michelle Renae :) said...

thank you. you have no idea how much this ministered to my soul today.