Living on Grace

“I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 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” (2 Corinthians 12:7b-9a)

There I was. On the bathroom floor. At 2 in the morning.

After trying to fall asleep for hours, the pain in my stomach suddenly became so intense that I laid on my dorm’s multi-colored, threadbare bathroom rug and begged God to move and intervene on my behalf.

Please God. Please just help me fall asleep. I have multiple classes tomorrow. Responsibilities and then homework. And then I have work. I need to be able to do it all. I am not going to be able to do it all if you won’t ease this pain and give me some relief.

I just kept praying. Groaning and wishing that something would give.

But nothing.

In fact, the pain kept growing. Shooting joint pain began to radiate throughout my body. My feet and hands began to go numb. The insomnia seemed to grow even sharper.

God, where are you? How can you be in this?

A few hours later, I finally fell into a restless slumber. Strange dreams rolled through my conscience. Then at 7, I was awoken to sounds of the microwave and happenings in my living room. My long day was going to be happening on a poor amount of sleep and copious amounts of pain.

I texted my parents specifically asking for prayer and intercession. A text came back saying “Lord, we ask for grace, your grace to fill Stash in Jesus name. Give her your strength in her weakness….We love you very much”

Although it was encouraging to know that I had people praying for me, I didn’t get it until I begrudgingly opened my Bible to see if maybe God’s word could give me some much-needed strength before I headed off to my morning classes.

It’s crazy how quickly life can go from not hearing from God, to suddenly feeling that He is moving and teaching you through everything you experience. My flare up of sickness had left me feeling depleted in so many ways, but as I opened to 2 Corinthians for my devotions and began reading, verses began to leap off the page in a way that could only be the work of the Spirit. Specifically, the concept of God’s grace being stronger than my human weakness. My mind flashed back to the text message from earlier. Jesus was orchestrating the seemingly mundane around me even in the midst of my pain.

Man, God. I get it! I cannot do any of this without You. You aren’t even asking me too! My weakness is too overwhelming and crippling. But it’s all I have, and because of that, it is sufficient. Because along with Your power, I am given the ability to do what You have called me to.

The physical suffering, I was in didn’t end. In fact, the day was challenging, and so have the days been since. However, I have chosen to walk with the knowledge that in my weakness God’s power will be enough. I can rely on Him to be there with me every step of the way.

Instead of asking for God to take the pain away, (although I still believe and am praying that He will heal me from my mystery illness!), my prayer today is this:

Lord, may my weakness be turned to strength through your grace and power. May I walk reliant on You—and ONLY You! May I remember that Your strength is the only thing holding the pieces of my life together. My weakness is my made perfect in You.

And as I choose to live today upon this promise, I have written the reference of 2 Corinthians 12:10 on my wrist…..

“For when I am weak, then I am strong”

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