Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”–1 Corinthians 8-9a
Sometimes we feel like we are just hanging on at the end of our rope.
I recently listened to a person share a tragic story about a loved one. The road of suffering in this family was vast and very long, and as I listened and watched the tears flow from her eyes, my heart broke for her. She wondered where God was in her situation, why He didn’t change things….part of the reason my heart broke was because I have been in her shoes.
The hardest part about suffering is when we feel God has abandoned us. We climb this rugged, unbearable mountain, day after day, time after time, only to feel like we are getting nowhere. The burden of our circumstances grows heavier and heavier, threatening to crush us under its load, making us think we are certainly at our breaking point. We beg God to take “it” away, the pain, the circumstance, whatever, so that we can be free of it and rest and breathe again.
In the passage above, Paul pleaded with God to take away a “thorn” in his flesh, something that was greatly tormenting him. And God said that His grace was sufficient for Paul. My guess is that God did not take it away. I remember a few years ago begging God to release my daughter from terrible nerve pain that lasted over a year. I pleaded, I begged, and when it didn’t happen, I thought God had left or wasn’t listening. Little did I know that God had a bigger purpose for our suffering, that in the end it would bring my daughter and I closer together and strengthen our family. I can now see when I was at the end of my rope, that God’s strength worked in my life, drawing me closer to Him, helping me on the journey. And I can share in the suffering of others today, because I learned so much in my own time of darkness.
Is there an area of your life where you are just hanging on at the end of your rope? Be assured that God IS there with you, He hasn’t left. Suffering can be a powerful teacher and greatly transform you to be a stronger person. Turn your situation and your weakness over to Him, believe and trust that His power will be made perfect in your weakness. Trust that He is working, and will get you through, no matter what.
Prayer–“Lord, sometimes I feel at the end of my rope, and want to give up. Help me trust that you have a greater purpose in mind that I cannot see, and instead of begging for my situation to be taken away, I ask that you will transform me while in it. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”