Recently, I was listening to a sermon taken from 2 Corinthians 12:1-10. It was quite an appropriate sermon in this moment of my life. As I face uncertain decisions, an unclear future, and unknown days ahead, the words of Christ speak loud, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” As I reflect on these words, it is often only the first half which people quote, yet the second half is just as significant: “…for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
The standout part of this passage is what Paul writes following these words of encouragement from Christ, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” How often do we boast in our weaknesses? We often share about our weaknesses, but we don’t boast in them. We don’t take pride in our weaknesses and declare them with confidence. Yet, this is the paradigm which Paul lives by, boasting in his weaknesses so that the power of Christ might come clear.
So, let me begin by sharing about this past week. Let me attempt to live by this paradigm which Paul lived by, so that Christ’s power might shine through.
This last week, I’ve struggled to focus and get any work done. I have a sermon to write and an exam to prepare, people to meet, and promises to keep. Yet, rather than sitting down at my desk and getting to work, I have gone from place to place, unable to discipline myself and do the work. I have spent much of the time talking with people, playing games, and aimlessly lying in bed pondering my dismal state. Yet, in the midst of my weaknesses, let me boast in Christ and His work in my life. How did Christ come through?
In the midst of discussions with people, though none of it may seem relevant to anything above, I found myself talking about my sermon to come. I haven’t written much or prepared much, but through those discussions have found a reality which I hope to communicate when I stand behind the pulpit. Further, in other discussions, issues and problems have arisen which allow me to put into practice the content of my exam. This is especially useful given that the subject is pastoral care. Honestly, I haven’t touched my textbooks in the last week, but the number of conversations that I’ve had and applied the lessons I’ve learnt have been many. These are just some examples of Christ working through my weakness.
Let me say one final word in closing. I don’t see this as any reason to live my life flippantly or without effort or dedication. However, in the words of the old hymn, The Old Rugged Cross, “I will cling to the old rugged cross and exchange it someday for a crown.” My life is nothing without the Cross and so I will cling to it, I pray, until I breath my last.