The year 2020 was a year of global and national calamities. Yet, people were courageous in the face of fear, hopeful even without progress, and #strong attached to whatever verbiage they needed.
But, the calendar page flipped over to 2021 and rainbows didn’t fill the skies. Life continued to be scary and difficult, and the weariness of a year-long bout with our internal struggles fueled by an external nightmare took it’s toll.
I am a pastor and in the last few weeks I have received calls, letters and digital messages with a very consistent theme: I can’t take it anymore.
Some are mad at God for not fixing things. Others are confused clinging to remnants of hopes they had, but losing grip on the ability to cope. And, there are some simply overwhelmed by fear, doubt, disillusionment, etc.
Whether your brand of hurt looks like a pandemic, politics, or personal tragedy, there is something to remember if you call yourself a follower of Christ.
The Apostle Paul had the experience of being caught up to the third heaven and experienced a spiritual renewal like no one else according to 2 Corinthians 12. He also knew rejection, torture, threats and fear at the hands of the enemies of God.
In all of this He was given a “thorn in the flesh.” No, we don’t know what it was, but we do know what it was for... to keep him from becoming conceited.
Personally, I think shipwrecks, stonings and public beatings would have done that for me, but this was Paul’s experience.
Paul prayed 3 times to have this thorn removed from his life, but his answer was not what he wanted, or expected.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV): 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.”
I think we can all take a lesson from Paul’s life and teaching here in 2021.
When the circumstances don’t change, the outcome isn’t what you prayed for and maybe the world doesn’t even make sense:
These are perfect days to live by faith, but if your faith requires that God does what you want for things to be ok... then who is instructing who?
Remember that long before things get better, God is good.
Our weakness can display His strength, and even when the world is not the way you want it to be you can put your eyes on Him... “so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Friday, January 29, 2021
This should be a short author profile.