And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you,
for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
How often have we heard this Scripture spoken in reference to our afflictions and deficiencies? Paul speaks of it in 2 Corinthians in regards to "the thorn in the flesh" that he has to bear. Historians have not been able to conclusively identify what this burden might have been, and I think that this is probably how God planned it.
For if we knew that Paul's "thorn" was an ulcer, or failing eyesight, or even an annoying wife, as some commentators have ventured (no kidding!), then perhaps it would be easy for us to dismiss this admonition by our Lord as not pertaining to us.
No, I believe Paul's affliction is purposefully hidden so that we might identify with him in our own hardships and suffering. And that's not difficult to do these days, is it? Whether your burden is physical, emotional or spiritual, we can identify with this great Apostle.
Like Paul, I can't tell you the number of times I have prayed and pleaded with Jesus to remove my own "thorn"; to "help me with my unbelief"... my worry, my anxiety over these times in which we live, and my failure to cast my gaze upon Him, instead of the affairs of the world.
I have laid prostrate on the ground, arms outstretched and cried to Him to give me His peace, and to take away my selfish preoccupation. Because it is at these times that I am at the end of myself, and He is the only One who can renew my spirit. And that is what He is telling us in this brief verse.
If I could do it myself, I wouldn't turn to Him. It is when I have expended all my inner power and strength, and call on Him, that I receive His grace and the strength to put one foot in front of the other and face another day. When He strengthens me through His gift of grace, He lets me know He is with me, and that is enough to comfort me and to support my soul. I know that He understands me and knows my need; and He will give me what I need to overcome my weakness.
My recognition that I can go to Him in my weakness and He will respond, not only strengthens me but causes me to give Him the praise. I cannot do it without Him and He is glorified! It is His strength that gives me the power to pick myself up and move forward. His grace is enough and it is perfect!