“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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
It was September 25, 2007 and I was lying in a hospital bed just four days after being ordained to the ministry. The day prior I had a major spinal fusion surgery that lasted twelve hours. The time came though for me to get out of bed for the first time and I knew this was going to be so hard, since I had lost total control and feeling in my left foot. I remember grabbing onto a quite large nurses aid and he told me to hold onto him and I took my first steps.
This is an experience that I will never forget. I was totally leaning upon God for my strength to do this, because I had none. I was so scared of falling but yet Jesus provided me the strength to take those first steps. This is such a special verse to me as it was the verse the Lord gave me to focus my ministry around.
In this Scripture, Paul was going through some painful times of his own. Verse 7 tells us of the”thorn in the flesh.” We are not sure whether this was something physical, a great temptation or even a spiritual battle, but we know it was a time of great hardship for Paul.
We all have thorns of our own today. For many of us, it is the chronic illnesses and pain that we endure on a daily basis. Quite often, we ask the Lord to remove this from our lives and many times He gives us an answer we do not want to hear. Rather, He is going to take this situation and turn it around and use it to draw people to Himself.
In my early years of my spinal problems, I asked the Lord “How are You going to use me for the ministry if I have to spend many of my days in bed dealing with pain”? I didn’t get a response until years later, when He called me to go into nursing homes and use my experiences to minister to others in the same situation. At first, I thought the Lord was playing around with me, but now I can say that God did things through my weakness that I could have never imagined.
We do not like pain but God still has a purpose and plan for our lives, even in our sufferings. He wants us to use our weakness to shine His power to a lost and hopeless world. He wants us to be able to give the same response as Paul did in verse 9 when he “boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Let us not dwell on our weaknesses but rather the strength that God gives us through our weakness.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to walk this earth and experience weakness so that I have a Savior that can relate to my life. Help me Lord to use my weakness to let Your strength shine through. Through my weakness, may people be drawn near to You and Your saving grace. May I always boast on how You have worked in my life through the weaknesses. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Welcome to our new writer!
Charles Wells is an ordained minister who lives in Texas with his 10-year-old son, 6-year-old daughter and his wife. He suffers from major spinal problems and has had three major back surgeries. He has taken this pain and uses it for God’s glory by ministering to people in nursing homes, rehab centers and writing on these experiences. You may visit his blog at http://revcawells.wordpress.com.
How can you allow God to use your weaknesses for His glory?
This video is the group Calling Glory singing “Don’t Give Up.” It is a beautifully simple video with lyrics and I think they will encourage you. -Lisa