Saturday, August 30, 2014

Promises, Promises

Desperate for relief, Paul repeatedly pleaded with God to heal him. God's response wasn't "I'd love to but your faith is just too weak." And, it wasn't "You forgot to spin around and click your heels together three times." There was no "If you... then I..." Instead, God's response was no. Our Heavenly Father looked at Paul, the man He called to carry His message to the gentiles, and refused to heal him.

"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 12:10

God's promise to Paul was the same as it is for us today. He doesn't promise to change our circumstances. In fact, He may be planning to use those circumstances for good in our lives or the lives of those around us. Instead, he promises that His grace is sufficient--that He will be with us in the middle of those circumstances. God is not our cosmic vending machine. He doesn't do what we tell him. It's actually supposed to be the other way around. But He does love us, and He is with us every step of the way. Even Jesus, His own son, pleaded with Him to change His circumstances on His way to the cross.

Thank you, God, for saying no.

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