Me: “God, why have your hurt me?”
God: “Trust me.”
“So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
I am a broken man.
I often return to the passage above from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. It gives me both hope and perspective.
It can do the same for you.
In a culture that enjoys the grandstanding of celebrity, power, success, and wealth, it appears God values just the opposite.
“My power works best in weakness,” he comforted Paul.
Me: “But, God, I’m sick and tired of you making me weak. My dad and sister died as a result of lifetimes of addiction. Why didn’t you heal them? My son took his life. Why didn’t you save him? I struggle with mental health. If I’m honest (as if you don’t know what I’m thinking), sometimes I feel like you hate me.”
God: “My precious child, you are misinterpreting the word ‘weak.’ You are no longer a citizen of this world. You are a citizen of my Kingdom. And in my Kingdom, weakness means power. My power. I love you. And you are more than free to feel like I hate you. That means you’re normal. You’re no different than my children, Jeremiah and David. But know this: you can never “out-hate” my love for you. My child, your perspective of life is extremely limited. You now see as through a glass badly smudged by the fallenness of this world. But one day you will see with perfect clarity. When you doubt my love for you, focus again on the Cross. I was thinking of you that day. And, if you had been the only one to have ever lived, I still would have given my life to save yours. By the way, your dad, sister, and son, are with me. Perfectly whole. Experiencing joy, love, and peace beyond what you can comprehend. I’ve got them. And I’ve got you. I love you, my child. I am the Almighty. Trust me.”
There is much truth to mine in the passage from 2 Corinthians. But, allow me to finish by citing two of my favorite quotes related to this topic.
“I doubt God can use a person greatly until he has first hurt them deeply.” – A.W. Tozer
“For his first forty years, Moses thought he was [strong]. For the next forty years, Moses thought he was [weak]. Then, in his last forty years, Moses beheld what God can do with [someone who’s weak].” – Chuck Swindoll
“For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – Paul
Solus Christus, nw