“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.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)
Of all the challenges that come with raising a special needs child, finding the right school had been one of the most arduous tasks. No matter how great a school year began, it would often end in tears, fears and the awful thought that we, as a family, weren’t good enough — we didn’t measure up.
In one particularly grueling season, my husband and I inadvertently found ourselves on the wrong side of the school administration. Taking my son to school felt like going into battle. Leaving the carpool line in tears, I’d anxiously wait by the phone and gird my weary mama heart for the negative report I would surely receive at pickup.
Each morning in that painful season, I drove to school wondering, Is this the day they say he can’t be here anymore? Is this the day the grace runs out?
It was exhausting.
I wonder if you feel the draining pull of trying to measure up, too. Maybe you’re striving at work to stay one step ahead of falling behind. Maybe the comparison trap is sinking your joy in motherhood. Perhaps your relationships are hanging on by a thread, and you feel like you’re just one mistake away from letting someone down.
The circumstances may change, but the result looks the same: We find ourselves worn thin by constantly trying to get it right, fit the mold and check the box. We know Jesus promised life and peace, yet those gifts feel like a dream on the days our limitations hover close to the surface.
The truth is, the world isn’t a very kind place when our weaknesses come into full view. The world offers us a conditional “grace,” one that runs out at the first sign of failure. Though we may try to have it all together, we can’t escape the truth that something in our lives is bound to tattletale on our shortcomings.
The Apostle Paul deeply understood this struggle. Three times, he begged God to remove a “thorn” in his flesh. While we don’t know the specifics of this thorn, we know it caused him anguish, and 2 Corinthians 12:7 characterized it as “a messenger of Satan” sent to “harass” him (ESV). Boy, can I relate to that!
Our key verse, however, reveals that God’s plan was bigger than simply removing Paul’s prickly problem:
“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.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
God reminded Paul that His grace, unlike the world’s, doesn’t vanish at the first sign of our weakness. Instead, humbly acknowledging our inadequacies and bringing them to Him flings open the doors to His divine muscle. This is one of many counterintuitive truths of the gospel: God’s power finds perfection in our imperfection!
In the comfort of His grace, we find our frailties transformed into a poignant testimony of Jesus’ sustaining love. Like Paul’s, our “thorns” no longer hold us back — they can even become a source of joy as we expectantly await the extraordinary work Jesus will do through our humble, human lives.
And in this, we find rest — genuine, soul rest. This rest invites us to shed the shame surrounding our weaknesses. It paves the way to peace because we know God will use our weaknesses to display His strength. The stunning, all-sufficient grace of Jesus frees us from the need to strive, measure up and attempt to attain perfection, for at our weakest, God is strongest. His grace never runs out.
These days, my son is thriving at a beautiful school that loves him, quirks and all. I am grateful every morning. Yet I also give thanks for that hard season because it taught me to find respite in God’s endless supply of grace and stop pursuing man’s empty approval.
Whatever this day holds, may we rest in the safety and security of God’s capable, grace-filled arms.
Dear Jesus, thank You for Your grace that sustains us and never runs out. Today, help us bring our weaknesses to You so that Your power might shine in us. May we find our rest in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Who were you before someone else told you who you were supposed to be? On the latest episode of the Proverbs 31 Podcast, author and speaker Jo Saxton reminds us who we really are by teaching us how to exchange the labels we put on ourselves with the labels God has given us. This episode of the podcast will help you walk forward into who God made you to be so you can pursue the dreams He has put inside of you. Click here to listen now!
Connect with Meredith on Instagram and her website where you’ll find more encouraging content and community!
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (ESV)
Where in your life do you feel worn down by striving? Let us know in the comments how we can pray over you!
© 2021 by Meredith Houston Carr. All rights reserved.
What We Believe
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