So, I'm reading Paul's discussion on his struggles and pertaining to his thorn in the flesh, he says he asked God three times that it might leave him. I just stopped and stared. Three times? That's it? You're going through hell on earth and you only ask God three times for relief? I'm not there now - but I have been under such oppression that I was begging - and I mean beggin' for relief.
My only answer is that Paul must have gotten his answer after his third time. When God said My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness Paul got it. He understood. Then he changed his stance. Rather than begging for everything to be taken away (we all know how effective that's been, right?), he began to rejoice in his weaknesses. Sounds ludicrous right? But it's not.
Now instead of being in begging mode - bowing beneath the load, Paul is rejoicing that through his own weaknesses, God's strength will be glorified. He said, when I am weak, then I am strong. Kind of sounds like he's talking through both sides of his mouth like a politician, doesn't it? But he isn't. He came to the realization that in his weakest moment - he was still strong because the Spirit of the Living God lived in him to lift him up and carry him through. In that truth - he gained strength for the journey.
Maybe I've focused too much on my own weakness, and not enough on His strength. His strength that is in me is enough. It's enough to carry me through - His power is easier to see in my weakness than if I'm trying to be the "strong one." In order to be truly strong, I must lose myself. When I lose myself in Him, His strength abounds. Ephesians 3:16 says that we are strengthened with might (or power) through His Spirit in the inner man. The Amplified says it this way: May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit Himself indwelling your inner most being.....
Can we grab hold of the truth that the Spirit of the living God is LIVING inside of us - to strengthen us, guide us into truth (which doesn't change due to circumstances), and empower us to live this life? He gave no stipulations - no exemptions. He's not standing outside waiting for us to "get it together." He's indwelling us. Walking this through with us and empowering us along the way.
Today, I'm going to turn my thoughts to how Holy Spirit lives in me. As I recognize my great weakness, His power fills up all my empty spaces. My meditations will be on how I gain strength just because He's here. And I have the power to face one more day - with Him - the One who doesn't take a break, doesn't get tired, doesn't quit and never loses strength. I'm going to be thankful that I see my weakness today and that His strength is in me helping me trust in Him for one more day. Will you join me?