My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9
Friend to Friend
It was a photo of a waffle iron.
Her status update on the social media site said seven simple words about the picture:
“I want these two buttons for life.”
The buttons of reference were two settings: RESTART and A BIT MORE.
There it was – in stainless steel simplicity – the longings of a friend who has complicated challenges that were bravely alluded to. She’s a private person, so I was surprised by the honesty and courage of her post… even if she only intended to share her thought tongue-in-cheek.
I understood right away. The medical chains of her diagnosis now limit activities that used to be normal and easy for her.
It’s not fair. It’s not fun. It’s painful and it stinks.
My sister suffers from a similar health challenge. Though she rarely ever complains I see the discomfort when she winces, thinking no one is looking. And when she winces my heart aches with her because I know she’s hurting. And I hate that.
So, yeah, I get my friend’s post… and I share in her longings for a restart… for a bit more. Not just for her and for my sister – but for me too.
Because life is full of pain that stirs our hunger for something better. Something new. Something fresh. Something more. Something miraculous and full of promise. We want the hurts to stop and the healing to start.
We want God’s kingdom to come. Now.
For some the challenge is physical pain. For others it’s upside down finances, toxic relationships, depression, stressful employment (or unemployment), prodigal children, broken marriages, tangled feelings, or emotional emptiness.
If only we could overcome our trials by pushing a few buttons.
We do try, though. We try so hard to anesthetize our pain with things of this world, don’t we? With wine, with men, with shopping, with status, with service, with sleep, with eating, or even with working out… none of which point us in the direction to the more we long for.
The pressure drives us low, and burdens us with a weight that we are not meant to carry. And in the heaviness of it all, the Bible points to a hope that remains in Christ. When we call to the One who is all about restarts and more – His grace meets us there. In the pain. In the disappointment. In the bitterness. In the anger. In the hopelessness.
When the apostle Paul pleaded with God to make his life “more” by removing the thorn in his side, the Lord told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)
I love God’s grace and am grateful for salvation. So grateful. But I wonder just how much of God’s strength, how much of His grace – how much of His more – goes untapped in my life because I simply fail to ask for it or because I don’t believe He actually cares enough to intervene. If His strength is made perfect in my weakness, as it was in Paul’s, then why do I often still feel weak?
Where’s the MORE I was meant for?
I wish there was a button to push.
Perhaps the strength God provides through His grace is about a lot more than my feelings and my failures. One thing I know for sure is that my emotions are unreliable. And I KNOW God! I know that He is faithful, He is always with me, His ways are higher and His thoughts are more comprehensive than mine. And I know He lifts my head when I’m downhearted and that His compassion for humanity – for you and me – is white hot like a flame.
The more we are meant for is not found in an empty bottle or a man’s arms. It’s not found in a clean medical chart or in that promotion at work. It’s not found in a home that shows like an HGTV showcase, in well behaved children, or on the buttons of a waffle iron – but in Jesus Christ.
He took on death so you and I could take on life. A life of more.
God’s grace invites us to a restart that begins with repentance and faith. It is essential that we acknowledge the brokenness of sin in our lives and believe that Jesus came from heaven to bring forgiveness and hope to mankind.
Then after the restart, God calls each of His children to more.
A more that is fueled by His Spirit and embodied by Jesus himself.
Yes, you need grace. Yes, you need strength. Everyday.
But more than anything, you need Jesus.
HE is the more you are meant for.
Dear Lord, You are who I need. Thank You for allowing me to experience a restart of grace because of Jesus. Bind my choices, thoughts, affections, and longings to the more of You.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
More from the Girlfriends
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