For quite awhile, I have struggled with something, wanting it to leave, to let go, to move onto something else, something I don’t feel I have the capacity for. I asked God to take it away, and sensed Him saying, “No.” The verse about God’s grace being sufficient came to mind, but I resisted, tired of the struggle. At the same time, wanting to be open and be close to God, I prayed for ears to hear and eyes to see what God has for me.
Then at exercise class, the instructor said she felt she should share something with us, and wasn’t sure why, but that someone needed to hear it. She read 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 from the NIV Bible:
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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.”
Clearly, I have not been at that place where I rejoice in such things. The thing I have been fighting and fearful of is rooted in vulnerability. I went home, wrote the verses down on a 3 x 5″ card to meditate on and knew I would include them in my art journal. Then I looked up the definition of Grace. When the exercise instructor shared the verses, she made it a point to emphasize God’s grace. It struck me in a new way, a way that focused on the positive of God’s grace instead of the negative of my weaknesses. God’s grace is given to me, and because of His great love, I can overcome, persevere, be more than I am, and more truly who I am.
In the second week of the Faith Journaling group, His Kingdom Come, the “Take Me Deeper” verses are 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, AND the theme is vulnerability. “Are you kidding?” is what I said out loud when I read it. Again: Grace. “Serendipity by design”. I conclude, if the same message comes to me from four places, there is a good chance God is speaking to me. I am listening.
Serendipity, defined by Merriam Webster is “the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.” Then I looked up the meaning of Phenomenon: “A phenomenon is an observable, significant, and sometimes rare fact or event that is often difficult to understand or explain fully.”
“You can achieve the victorious life through living in deep dependence on Me. People usually associate victory with success: not falling or stumbling, not making mistakes. But those who are successful in their own strength tend to go their own way, forgetting about Me. It is through problems and failure, weakness and neediness that you learn to rely on Me… It is a faith-walk, taken one step at a time, leaning on Me as much as you need. This is not a path of continual success but of multiple failures. However, each failure is followed by a growth spurt, nourished by increased reliance on Me. Enjoy the blessedness of a victorious life, through deepening your dependence on Me.”