I have issues. I see them everyday when I look in the mirror. I am reminded of them every time I fail at a task or a relationship. I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by everything I'm not! However, the older I get the more I seem to grasp the concept of God's power perfected through my weakness. Rest assured I don't fully walk in unbridled truth in this area, but I am definitely progressing to a place of self forgiveness and freedom in this area.
In fact, as I search the Bible, I see others before me that also struggled with this incredible monster. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12: 7, "....to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me-to keep me from exalting myself!" But why was it necessary-this harsh precautionary measure taken against Paul's FLESH? Remember, Paul said it was a thorn in his flesh? He also referred to it as a messenger of satan! Wow, not just one or the other but both! Not only was this some kind of a physical issue (unless he was just speaking figuratively) but it also seemed to be a mental struggle. Whatever this was, it had caused tremendous pain in the life of Paul! Pain that seemed so acute that he cried out to God 3 times, actually the word he uses here is 'implore' which means to ask, beseech or entreat. The word takes on a more serious note than just a casual request made to the Lord. Paul was in serious discomfort and was very inconvenienced.
Have you ever felt that way? Maybe you are doing what the Lord has called you to do, but you are being attacked physically, persecuted, oppressed, or are just weary and exhausted. Paul was doing exactly what the Lord had called Him to do. Why didn't God "clear the way" for him-you know give him favor and a problem free life so he could focus on his calling? Shouldn't God do that for you? Just snap His fingers and take away all of your problems in one instant. No more financial worries, relationship struggles or health issues? Oh to be free of such things seems to be the answer right? Of course it would be if we lived in a perfect world without sin! But we don't. We were born into sin and have to CHOOSE to get out of it! Paul goes on to say in vs 9 that the Lord told him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." The sufficiency of God's grace is something we may never understand. Our pride gets in the way so many times. We want to have all the answers for everything, be our own saviour, and hero of our world! We want to do the impossible just so we can have the applause of men and the fame that we so desperately crave! The attention makes us feel important and needed. However, if we walk out that flawed philosophy of life, we will find ourselves still starving at the end of our life. We would eventually realize that the acceptance we were really longing for was from a perfect God that isn't looking for perfection from us! He loves us just because He is love. He can't help Himself! We can't impress Him with our perfect lives filled with success and incredible accomplishments! Our lofty prayers don't alter His impression of us. He is moved by our honesty with Him, by our outright cry for mercy and grace! Psalm 51: 6 says, "You desire truth in the innermost being." Honest and earnest prayer always finds the ear of God!
Something incredible will begin to transpire as we begin to let God alter our perception of weakness. At first, it's an incredible inconvenience that we despise and pray for it's demise. However, the longer we walk with God, we see that our weakness continually drive us back to His cross. Back to our knees, prayer closets, humility and a place of total dependence on God. It's in this weakness that God's power begins to manifest. His power begins to work through us transforming us from the inside out. We begin to realize the journey of pain that we are on is just as important as the destination we are trying to reach. Our weakness is a tool that the Lord uses to remind us just how much we need Him. The best thing we can do is just accept it! When we are weak He is strong :)