Monday, January 04, 2010

Where Is God When It's Hard?

The scriptures are clear, God is with us when things get tough. But is our first reaction always to lean on that promise when life gets hard? I know that I have had some of my most powerful experiences of knowing God’s presence during times like these. And despite these experiences there are still plenty of times that instead of trusting the God that has always been with me, I find that I get upset that Jesus doesn’t care enough about me to stop the situations in my life that cause me pain.

In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, he talks about having a similar experience which he only refers to as “a thorn in his flesh” and says he pleaded with God to take it away three times (12:7). The response that he gets is in verse 9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So while we don’t know what it is that troubled Paul we do find out that he went to Christ in prayer about the situation repeatedly, and the pain did not end. Jesus simply affirms that when we are troubled, that if we trust in the grace of God that we will have his power, and that will be enough.

These are tremendous words that we would all do well to store away in our hearts for a difficult time, or if that time is now, to ask Jesus to help his grace be sufficient even in our greatest need. As we start 2010 and look into the unknown of what the year might hold for us, I hope we might all find the grace to not get upset will God when we have trouble. Beyond that, may these be times that we rest in God’s perfect power and not beat ourselves up about our weaknesses, knowing that we have the grace that is more than sufficient to meet all of our needs.