“But [Jesus] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” 2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV.
Most people don’t like the feeling of helplessness. When we find ourselves at the point of needing to rely on others, a sense of discomfort overwhelms us. From a very early age, we are taught to be self-sufficient. We learn to tie our shoes, brush our teeth, bathe and tend to our needs. Teachers want us to be independent and responsible learners.
The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly why Paul is suffering. He only refers to his affliction as “a thorn in my flesh.” Paul prays to remove it but is told, “no” by God. Whatever is causing the pain will remain, and to endure without complaining or whining, God gives Paul a sufficiency of His grace.
What does grace look like exactly? Giving an example of God’s grace in a way we might fully understand is impossible on this side of heaven. What we can grasp is that while our circumstances may not change, by faith and trusting God, we will endure. One might compare God’s “sufficient grace” to that of Pain Management. When we experience chronic illness, we might find a temporary solution to help us get through life. You and I have a “chronic illness” called, sin! Sin is a side-effect of the human condition, and Jesus is God’s remedy. Unlike natural temporary pain relief, Jesus and His grace provide an eternal solution.
One question begs an answer as we travel through this world that is defective as a result of sin. Whether suffering physical, emotional or spiritual pain, will you and I trust God to supply all that we need?