"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9a (NIV)
It started out like any other evening at home. Donny made dinner while Annie attended aerobics class after work. It was a good arrangement. Donny got to practice his cooking skills and Annie got to exercise. Once Annie was home, dinner was served.
Unknowingly, their lives were about to change forever. In the middle of dinner, Annie's right hand suddenly went numb. Unable to hold her fork, she dropped it to the floor.
"Are you okay?" Donny asked. Annie felt ill. Her head pounded like never before. Something was wrong.
The next day, Annie's MRI exposed bad news: a brain aneurysm. The good news was it was operable. Alarmed by the dreadful findings, Annie fell to pieces as the doctor explained the procedure. He would start by shaving her head where the incision would be made. Then, the brain specialist would remove the left part of Annie's skull.
Her heart would have to stop for a split second in order to put a metal clamp around the artery in her brain. This would definitely affect her speech for a while. The doctor couldn't guarantee how things would turn out, but he was hopeful. Distressed, both Annie and Donny melted with grief.
After sharing the news with friends and family, Annie sank into a deep depression. The unknowns of her condition left her scared stiff. Her mind raced with possible outcomes. She didn't get out of bed or bathe for days until she visited her pastor. Surely, he could offer her the peace to face her illness. But peace didn't come during their conversation.
"I need something more," Annie confessed to her pastor.
"He is what you need," the pastor said, as he pointed to the large cross hanging at the front of the church. Annie walked slowly toward the cross, knelt down in front of it, and cried out to the Lord. She didn't ask God to heal her. She didn't even ask to live through it. "Just give me the strength to do Your will," Annie pleaded.
At the moment Annie placed her life before God, she was filled with His peace and power. She had no more tears. Annie knew in that moment, no matter what — live or die—everything was going to be fine.
Annie's surgery was a success. Though it took several months before she could speak again and nearly a year to heal fully, she had something better than a life without trials or sickness. She had the companionship of Christ and the assurance of His strength and enabling grace.
The world's philosophy says, "What can't be cured must be endured." Our key verse says the opposite. What can't be cured makes us dependent on the power of God. In that dependency, His power is given and we are made strong. I've come to learn this truth myself. God doesn't always remove me from my painful circumstances, but He supports me in them. This strengthens me like none other.
Something amazing happens when we faithfully cry out to the Lord in our weakness and believe in His perfect care. We experience His super-natural power and peace. Our faith suddenly becomes stronger than our fear, and our trust becomes a strong witness to others. Go ahead and be weak when the crisis comes. His strength and grace are sufficient.
Dear Lord, thank You for Your strong grace when my circumstances look bleak. In my weakness, I cry out in utter dependence on You. Make Your power known to me. Be my hope, my peace and my strength. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Tell God your needs. Sounds simple but how often do you do cry out and allow His peace and strength to carry you?
How often do I pray for a miracle but expect no response?
How can my expectations keep me from experiencing God's care?
Psalm 4:1 "Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer" (NIV)
Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (NIV)
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