Wednesday, September 9, 2009

There is a family in our church that is going through it. Their son is 6 (like mine) and they have discovered an "inoperable" brain tumor. They are out of state in treatment right now, trying to do everything they can for their son.
This hits really close to home because my boys know Jackson really well. When they stay for a second service on Sundays, they go to a place called The Camp, and they have been talking and trading Bakugan now for a year with Jackson. So, the news of his struggle has hit them hard. We've been following their family blog and praying for them every night and many times throughout the day.
The other night, on their blog, his mom wrote from a place of real despair. She was so honest about her doubt and questions; it was a very real look into what she was experiencing. It made me remember Paul's experience. A little different than Jackson's mom's, but the truth is the same:
1 Cor 12:7 "To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
The point in this passage that I have missed many times before, is not just the platitude that "God will be with you and be your strength." It goes beyond that. Paul says that he intentionally admits and makes himself weak, so that he might receive the power of Christ. Does this mean that we don't operate fully in the power of God until we recognize that we are "65 lb. 7th grader" total weaklings?
Truly, it's a paradox. When I am weak, then I am strong. Because when I freely admit my ineptitude, then, and only then, can the power of God freely exist in my life. And by the way, His purpose is not to make me look strong, but to reveal His strength through me, thereby bringing glory to Himself.
I was listening to John Piper last night on the way home from work, and he summed it up: "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."