Friday, December 9, 2011

Sufficient

2Co 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the thought behind that verse.  Between discussions, thoughts shared and experiences, the principle is actively working in my life and heart.  In our last post, I talked about resistance.  But it strikes me that the greatest resistance to our moving forward with God is our own thought life and preconceptions.

Recently Pastor Jason Moore shared with me something he had spoken about in one of our church’s morning raps.  It was about Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son.  I’m not going into that devotional, here.  But it got me thinking about his circumstances.  Picture Mephibosheth, a descendant of David’s enemy, being summoned to David’s court.  Knowing that the normal behavior of the day was for people to kill off all their enemies, fear and his own thinking could have had Mephibosheth headed in any direction but going to David’s throne room.  Instead, he heeded the summons.  And, as we know was fed and taken care of for the rest of his life because of David’s love for Jonathan.


I have several devotionals by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand.  The first one I got is deeper than many, but still fairly normal.  More recently I’ve been reading 100 Prison Meditations: Cries of Truth from Behind the Iron Curtain.  They’re longer readings, darker and deeper in content.  I was talking to a friend about one on how poverty can be a blessing.  Here’s what I shared later, online: “Last night, I tried explaining a Richard Wurmbrand devotional to someone. As good as I am with words, in some ways I failed. And it struck me that there are some things you have to read or experience for yourself, without third party explanation getting in the way. There are things that God gave to Pastor Wurmbrand because of his imprisonment that I can only catch glimpses of. It's like my pastor explaining God's love. That's only a shadow of the reality and I'll never understand it until I experience it for myself.”  That made me think of our starting verse.

Pastor Wurmbrand went through things most of us will never experience.  Things we normally try to avoid.  As a result of what he went through, Pastor Wurmbrand experienced a special relationship with God and gained special insights into God’s heart and thinking.  I was fortunate enough to spend a little time with him when he visited the Bible college I was attending in New England.  It would have been easy for many to become bitter and shattered by the kind of torture and imprisonment Richard Wurmbrand went through.  Instead, I discovered one of the most gentle and loving men I’ve ever met.  He understood the sufficiency of God’s grace and his own limitations without it.

When I think of Pastor Wurmbrand’s experience, I’m certain it’s one I’d run from, if possible.  I sometimes involuntarily shudder when I think about his torture.  But my trepidation is with good reason.  At least so far, that kind of life is not part of God’s plan for me.  For that reason, God hasn’t given me the grace for those kinds of circumstances.  I’ve had other things go on in my life that others wonder at how well I’ve dealt with them.  Simple – God’s grace.  It really is sufficient to carry me through what God has for me.  And that brings up the point of this post.

I really don’t need to go looking for trials.  God will send the one’s I need for my own growth, in His perfect timing.  If I go looking for trouble, most of it isn’t going to be what God wants for me.  I’ll be miserable in those trials because there’s no grace to go through unnecessary, self imposed pain.  I really can’t find God allowed trials until I’m in them.  And I’ll know they’re God’s trials because, suddenly, there’s the grace to get through them.

If you’re not looking forward to trials, welcome to the club.  If you’re going through something and are in wonder at how you’re getting through it, welcome to God’s club.  We have the Mephibosheths and the Richard Wurmbrands (among others) who’ve gone before us as examples of how to live in turmoil and trials.  If God’s in it, there will be something truly special coming out of that experience.  We can watch God deliver us in the circumstances, instead of seeking to have Him deliver us out of them.

How have you latched onto God’s grace in time of need?

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