My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. — 2 Cor 12:9
I have a number of friends who have been through really hard things in recent years, some of which have been alleviated for the moment, but some of which will continue for the foreseeable future. Although I have my hard times, my difficulties pale in comparison to the suffering and hardships faced by my friends. And yet God has used these experiences not only in their lives, but also to mold and change me.
I cannot claim to have done anything to help my friends, in fact I think at times I have made things worse by my presence, or by my absence. And yet it is in those times of my own failings to support and care for my friends I have had to depend even more fully on God’s forgiveness, providence and ability to work in the situation.
I suspect the greatest lesson I have learnt though is that God uses weaknesses and suffering to bring about His purposes. Just as Jesus was despised and rejected, and he suffered greatly, so often God uses our weaknesses to bring Him glory. That’s what makes it all about Him and what He has done, and nothing about us.
I’m not sure what I’m really getting at here, but I guess if nothing else I want to remind myself (note for future reference) that it is in weakness and suffering that we see God’s most powerful work. I don’t think that there are any easy answers for when we are going through hard stuff and I’m the first to admit that I haven’t had the first hand experience of many, but if and when I face the realities of suffering in my own life, if I can come through knowing more deeply the love of God, and if He can be glorified through it, then I think that is enough. God tells us that His power is made perfect in our weakness, not in our strengths.
And I’d just like to thank my friends (who probably don’t read this) who have been through hard times recently. Thank you for teaching me more about God, and thank you for being gracious to me in my weaknesses.