"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 weakness so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Cor 12:9
Since Joshua Benjamin’s birth, God has had me in an intense course of sufficient grace. I have started this course several times, but when I get to the tests, I drop the course. Before when I thought of God’s grace, I typically pictured the beautiful undeserved favor given at the cross for sin. This is a big part of God’s amazing grace, but I am thrilled it goes beyond that into daily – EVERY.SECOND.OF.THE.DAY – life. He has been giving me a fuller understanding of God’s powerful grace in my daily struggles.
During this period of my life I have found myself more at the end of my rope than ever. I find myself staring into the face of my humanity, my weakness, my inabilities, my in adequacies, my limitations…my SIN. I don’t like my weakness. I want to be strong. I admire strength. I could relate to Paul pleading to God to remove the thorne/weakness, but I couldn’t relate to Paul saying he would boast in his weakness. When Joshua Benjamin was only 2 months, Joshua had to go on a month long trip. During this time I feel like God whispered into my heart over and over “Look for my grace. It is sufficient.” Slowly I began to open my scrunched eyes and look for His grace. I found if I had open expecting eyes I could see His grace more readily. To help open my spiritual eyes I would repeat over and over “My Grace is sufficient for you." It was easier for me to find His promised grace if I wasn't expecting it to look the way I WANTED, but it was there EVERY TIME. I noticed that it usually looked different each time He met me at the end of my rope, but HE was THERE.
“The gospel enables you and your children to face the worse in yourselves – your sin, your badness, and your weakness – and still find hope, because grace is powerful.” Tedd Tripp
When I read this quote this morning, I almost jumped out of my seat in excitement. It summed up another part of God’s grace that I hadn’t been able on my own. Not only is there grace and forgiveness for my sin and weaknesses, but His sufficient grace allows for me to have HOPE as I stare at them. When I see my weakness, my mistakes, my sinful tendencies, hope is what was glaringly missing in my reaction and walk with the Lord. Instead I felt defeat and despair. I turned to self-pity. I become hopeless. I tend to live under the weight of condemnation… Many times the way I tried to get past this state was self-help. The good old “pull yourself up by the boot straps.” Yes, because I am a believer, I usually asked God for help when in my “I got to do better” mode, but I saw it as…, “well, time to improve” -> “I have just got to get it together.” But what God has showed me is that trying harder is not the answer. His GRACE is the answer. There is POWER in His grace. There is HOPE in His grace. There is JOY in His grace. There is FREEDOM in His grace.
Dare to look for His grace and you will find it!