“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,” Eph. 2:8&9
As I reflected over writing this series on Grace Is For Giving, my focus began with salvation, but the more Scripture I read and translations I studied, the more I came to realize that it has taken me years to begin to grasp the elegance of grace.
Oh how much more grace God wants to give us than the initial dose we accepted when we trusted Christ as our Savior! Paul provides us with insight as to how this fact played out in his own life. While we don’t know the exact detail of Paul’s issue, he describes his problem as “a thorn in the flesh.” Interestingly enough, every Bible translation I read used the same word description for this problem he had- some type of physical ailment that nearly drove him crazy. I’ve heard this preached as a possible sight problem- whatever it was, Paul wanted it gone.
In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul writes that three times he asked God to remove the problem from him. But his answer from the Lord was not a whisking away, problem-vanishing solution. No magic eraser, Hot Shot spot remover, or delete button.
Though God has the power to provide immediate healing, He also has the wisdom for the timing of healing power. And His answer to Paul gives us one of the miraculous secrets of burden transformation:
Another translation (ESV) reads:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Sometimes the hardest person to give grace to is: ourselves.
We want to fix the problem, not live with it.
But what God wanted Paul to learn is the very same thing He wants us to learn:
The very things we wish that God would remove from our lives are often the things that keep us relying on Him. And not just relying on Him, those very issues or people or situations-
they are what give God the most glory in our lives.
A few years ago, I personally realized this as I reflected on the gift of my daughter, Taylor, who has a rare metabolic disorder, MPS. I was privileged to give my testimony as a part of our church Christmas program and some of the words I said included:
My walk with the Lord would not be where it is today (not that I’ve arrived, by any means) if God had not given Taylor MPS and if He had not given Taylor to me.
What is it for you? What gift have you been given that requires a daily dose of His grace?
Can you share your burden with us today in the comments so we can all encourage one another to accept our weaknesses and rely on His grace?
PS: While I’m a bit embarrassed of this video, as my hairstyle is dated and you might just recognize that we’ve had two more children since this video, I’m including it today. Not to boast of my wonderful, perfect life, but in an effort to show you a glimpse of His grace. And the glory that belongs to Him.
Thanks for linking up today, Bloggers! I love seeing your encouraging posts each week!
And if my testimony has touched your heart, you can always submit personal messages or speaking requests through the contact form on the menu above.