When I am weak, then God is surely strong
2 Corinthians 12:9 – 10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I have read this particular passage of scripture many times over the years not really understanding the full ramifications of all that this verse actually means. I do not even profess to understand it fully now, but recently I have learnt more about God grace and how in my weakness and deepest needs, God comes through for me and is strong when I honestly have nothing left of myself.
About eight years ago my precious mother was dying of lung cancer, she had smoked for many years and her body could no longer take the strain of all of that nicotine in her system. She lived in South Africa and I lived in Canada and so when I got the call, I dropped my life and flew over there.
I spent the next month by her side and in many ways it was a gift as I had spent many years abroad and had not had the privilege of day to day contact with her, on the other hand I remember it being one of the hardest things I ever had to do in my life.
I couldn’t think of anything worse than standing by helplessly and watching as someone that you hold very near and dear to you sliped away moment by moment. I had so many emotions rush through me as I watched my father frantically try to find any cure he could to prolong my mother’s life, he was desperate to have her stay longer as they had been married for about 34 years at that point and he was more in love with her than when they first began. It nearly ripped my heart right out of my chest!
As my father ran his own business he needed to be there for most of the day and therefore I became the primary care giver for that month. I want to say that up until this point, my experience of true care giving, was to my 3 children, changing diapers and caring for their every need. Now I was thrust into this role of primary care giver for my strong and independent mother who always took care of me and it terrified me.
Up to that point I had not truly learnt the meaning of allowing God’s grace to flow through me and even though I cared for my mom all during the day, and made sure my dad was fed and laundry was done, I often needed an attitude adjustment.
You see, when fear and hopelessness take up residence in your heart you open your heart up to all kinds of emotions that you would not have necessarily entertained before.
So my new bedfellows became resentment, anger, judgment and pure terror. Oh I took care of her, but I did nothing about guarding my heart enough to not allow these deadly emotions to take root and rule my experience there.
Over time the Lord showed me the destructive power that these emotions had had on my heart and even my relationship with my mom and the rest of my family while I was in South Africa and I did ask him to forgive me, but to be honest I decided that I never ever wanted to take care of sick people ever again. The trauma was still fresh, even 8 years later and I did not think I could handle it.
As the years went on the Lord had brought healing to many places in my heart concerning the death of my precious mother and then two years later my father, but I now held a badge of honor that said’ “I don’t take care of sick people”
Then just to prove my point, my son was diagnosed last November with a rupturing appendix and after his operation, even though I was concerned for him, I did my very best not to have to nurse him too much. Yes, I realize that after I write these words and he reads it I am going to have to ask him to forgive me.
Well a few months go by and we discover that my husband who had been diagnosed with non hodgkins lymphoma needs to have chemotherapy. To say that I was freaked out was an understatement. All of my old fears, dreads and night terrors were back; I would have to nurse him!
So I prayed, asking the lord for His grace, realizing that if I was going to be able to walk beside him in his time of need I was going to have to lay those fears at the feet of Jesus.
A month has since passed from his first chemo treatment and in-between we have had another chemo treatment, numerous emergency clinic visits, a two day stay in the hospital, other doctor visits, days in bed, tons of laundry, hair loss, emotions high one minute and very low the next and a host of other things; but I discovered that in the midst of it all, God’s grace has truly become sufficient for me. I have been able, with the help of God to lay down those fears and God has put his strength within me which has led to me being able to handle all that has come with love, kindness, compassion, mercy, peace, peace and of course long suffering.
My friends, this is the transforming power of Jesus Christ, alive and active in my life. I would not have been able to do this without him, not a chance. I had already proven that the last time. I not only praise the Lord for working through me at this time in such a dramatic way, but for allowing me to become aware of what he has been doing.
I know that I have to continue to cling to him with everything in me in the months ahead but I also know that when I am weak He is strong and his power is most definitely made perfect in my weakness.
I truly am thankful to God for his grace in this very hard time of my life and I am thankful for his promise to us all, That He will never leave nor forsake us!
Therefore, if you find yourself in a place that is way over your head and you feel like you are possibly drowning, call out to God, he does indeed hear us and he answers in ways we often least expect.
I have thought to ask the Lord to take this from my husband so that it would be all back to normal just like it was before, but I have come to realize that sometimes God does indeed miraculously take things away from us, like a disease or an addiction or something of that sort, but when he chooses not to there are many wonderful treasures for us along the way that we would not have found had we just experienced the quick way that we wanted.
So in the midst of it all, I can say with the Apostle Paul, that I can boast all the more in my weakness as I can see and experience the great and mighty power of God in the midst of my weakened and distressed state.
Thank you Lord!
Filed under: Our new Journey