By Matthew Williams
Everglades Community Church, Pembroke Pines, FL
First, read 2 Cor. 12:8-9
After being sick for a long time, I discovered in 2001 that I was a type one diabetic. Many prayed for my healing, and finally, in 2003 I received an insulin pump. Since then, I have lived with a one-inch needle in my body that is connected to a device that helps regulate my insulin levels.
I struggled with this at first. Why wouldn’t God heal me? Though I have a physical weakness that sometimes causes inconvenience or embarrassment, I have realized that this “thorn in my flesh” is something that God uses as a means of grace for others. His power is made perfect in my weakness. I pleaded with the Lord for it to be gone from me. Yet, God says to me, “My grace is enough for you.”
Lent is a season where we are invited to improve our growth edge of personal piety. Like the Apostle Paul, we all have “thorns in our flesh.” Realizing that God's grace is sufficient for our imperfections is a great quest to achieve.
The Apostle Paul wrote many letters to churches. He instructed them on sound theology and Christian leadership. He gave all he had to strengthen the cause of Christ. Yet, he wasn't perfect, and he didn't ever claim to be so. Rather, as I did, Paul pleaded with God about his weaknesses. In answer to his prayer, God responded with an affirmation filled with grace: “My grace is enough for you.”
Lent is a time to remember that we aren't perfect. Yet, within our imperfections, there is immeasurable grace. This grace is so deep, wide, and strong that it allows us to boast in our imperfections while ever longing for the fulfillment of the kingdom of God. God’s power is made perfect in our weaknesses! This is grace!
In 1742 Charles Wesley penned these words:
In vain thou strugglest to get free, I never will unloose my hold;
Art thou the man that died for me? The secret of thy love unfold;
Wrestling I will not let thee go, till I thy name, thy nature know.
'Tis love, tis love! Thou diedst for me, I hear thy whisper in my heart.
The morning breaks, the shadows flee, pure universal love thou art:
To me, to all, thy mercies move - thy nature, and thy name is Love.
Despite our imperfections, God's grace is eternally sufficient. Like the Apostle Paul, let us boast in our weaknesses with the confidence that God is using them. Lent is a season to remember that we are not perfect, and yet, in our imperfection we are a vibrant part of God’s Kingdom on earth. God’s grace is sufficient for us!
Prayer: God of grace and love, you gave all of yourself so that I will have life. Show me today the avenues to give all of my life for others and for the sake of your Kingdom. I desire to co-labor with you. May your kingdom come and your will be done. Amen.
- None of us is perfect. Yet, by grace, we all have something to offer. What do you have to offer?
- In our brokenness God's love is made known to the world. How might God's love be manifested those you come in contact with today?
- God is divine and total love. It's outside the comprehension of humankind. Who today can you offer that love to?