Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I have seen and I testify: Supernatural value in our pain (Part One)

Value 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,”

2 Corinthians 12:9b,10

Value in Weakness

Can I be real for just a moment? No theological dissertation, no philosophical meanderings…just a heart to heart talk? Woodridge Community Care, of which I am a part, does not have a grand mission statement; our intent is simple—to care for those within our community who are hurting. However, we live in a society that frowns on weaknesses and sharing them sometimes comes at a cost. Consequently, our nature is to hide our frailties behind a mask of strength and perfection. While many people are willing to share spectacular spiritual experiences (like the super apostles v.11), still today, most find it difficult to share their weaknesses. Yet, in 2 Corinthians 12, we learn that it is within our weakness that we see God’s strength.

I have a Christian friend who is a survivor of childhood abuse. She worked diligently for years in an effort to heal from unthinkable abuse and victimization. Some time ago, suffering from the exhaustion of her recovery work, she fell on her knees before God and pleaded for him to heal her, to take this terrible burden from her--to remove the painful emotional scars that remained. If my friend were personally sharing this testimony with you, she would joyfully smile as she told you of God‘s reply, “Roseanne, I have healed you through and through…I left the scars so others would recognize you.” Today, Roseanne proclaims the healing power of God’s love to women in prison. These hardened hearts respond to her witness because they recognize her emotional scars. If Roseanne chose to hide her weakness…these women would never see God’s strength. I believe that if you asked her, Roseanne would agree with Paul when he proclaimed, “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,” (vv. 9,10).

How motivating is that? All we have to do is allow God to do a spiritual work with our human experience. Not only will others see His power, but our weakness will be made strong. Hmmm….That’s real value!

Reflections

Is there an experience of pain that God is calling you to share with others? What is stopping you from “boasting” of your weakness so others may see God’s strength? Seek his will, listen as he directs you. Memorize 2 Corinthians 12:9a, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Begin today…give supernatural value to your pain, help someone else see Jesus.

Originally published in LifeLine Devotionals, 2005

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I can't wait to share my post with you tomorrow--I have seen and I testify: When God Shouts by Richard Mayhan. (I was tempted to add it today--but there must be a maximum word count for blog posts-no?)

There IS supernatural purpose in our pain....tomorrow, a testimony of hearing God's healing voice say, "I already knew."

4 comments:

Karen said...

Amen...great post...loved this line..."give supernatural value to your pain, help someone else see Jesus."....

Anonymous said...
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David said...

would certainly appreciate your prayers for my mom, Dorothy. She is suffering dementia and at 90 is increasingly frail form arthritis.

Michelle (wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, and striving to be a Proverbs 31 woman) said...

May someday my triumph over the pain of parenting a prodigal be a testimony for others.
For now, I guess my continued faith and reliance on Christ will have to be enough...which I pray is a testimony for some in the midst of the journey as well.
Thank you for the lovely post!
Michelle