Christ's Power is Made Perfect in Weakness
This is Day 18 of my 40 day Lenten Blog.
"But [the Lord] said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9).
To keep the Apostle Paul from becoming proud, the Lord placed a "thorn in his flesh." Paul begged God to take the thorn from him. Three times Paul prayed that the Lord would remove the thorn, but God refused, answering that, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9).
Right now the world is feeling weak. Right now the world is feeling scared. These are exactly the times that Christ will thrive in the world normally dominated by sin and evil. Especially the evil of pride. When we are proud we believe we do not need God. We can do it on our own.
Like Paul I often beg God to take my suffering away from me. But suffering is necessary. Why? Good question. But I think Pope John Paul II said it very well: "Christ does not explain in the abstract the reasons for suffering, but before all else he says: 'Follow me! Come! Take part through your suffering in the world...' Gradually, as the individual takes up his cross, spiritually uniting himself to the Cross of Christ, the salvific meaning of suffering is revealed before him."
So it is only through suffering that we can understand the meaning of suffering. It is through suffering that we can understand the mission of Christ and why He had to die on the cross. Without suffering ourselves we can never understand why He did it. It is through suffering that God draws out the love and compassion from our hearts to pour out onto the world. In these times of great pain we can draw nearer to Jesus and He will draw nearer to us. It is in these times of our suffering and weakness that Christ's power is most perfected in us and in the world. It is these times when we realize that we cannot do it alone. Trump can't save us and neither can Hillary or Obama or Biden or Sanders. We need Christ. We all need Christ. Even those of us who think they do not need Him. And it is exactly these times of suffering when we most realize just how much we need Him. And His power will be made perfect!
Come Lord Jesus, come.
Lord, perfect Yourself in our weakness. Use this time of suffering and fear to draw many to Yourself. Show us the peace that is possible through Your grace. Show us the salvific meaning of suffering, so that we may delight in suffering with You. Amen.
R.C. VanLandingham is the author of the Christian fantasy novel Peter Puckett & The Amulet of Eternity. He lives in Florida with his beautiful wife and three wonderful boys.