Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NLT)
I came across this verse this morning while reading my daily devotional subscription from Rest Ministries. (If you haven't checked them out yet I HIGHLY recommend it! They have great Christian resources for caregivers and those suffering chronic illness.) Immediately the question rose up in me:
Is it enough?
Is God's grace REALLY enough?
Is it all I need?
Is God really all I need?
These days I need a lot of support to make every day life possible... daycare for Amelia because I lack the strength and energy to keep up with her vibrant two year old self, medications for prevention and medications for pain management, a house cleaner every few months is turning into every few weeks as the fibromyalgia flares become more frequent and more severe, not to mention the emotional support of friends and family to get me through the fibro fog and depression that threatens to consume me every day...
How can I say His Grace is all I need when I also need all of these things? What about the healing that my body needs? What about the rain my whole state needs since the drought has been so severe this year? What about the empty pews at church that need to be filled? What about Amelia needing her mom to get out of bed to play with her so she doesn't have to spend another long day at daycare?
Is His Grace sufficient for all of these needs?
But then I remember how God has provided for us financially these last few months. And I remember how much Amelia loves to play with her friends at daycare and the incredible Christian women who work there are doing a fabulous job of teaching her not only great social and academic skills, but imprinting on her young mind Biblical Truths and Spiritual Disciplines. And how can I forget the way God has orchestrated all of my meetings in the past few years to put sweet friends in my life that can pick up the slack for me on my hardest days... taking Amelia to daycare or cleaning my house or just coming over for a chat when I can't get out of bed and am smothering in depression.
These are the gifts of a good Father. These are the ways He displays His power in my weakness. His faithfulness in my doubt. His mercy in my pain. It is here, while I am stuck in this bed, that I read stories on facebook that encourage me and lift my spirits. It is here that I type out notes of encouragement and hope to others. It is from here that I can see down the hall and into the living room and watch my husband develop an unshakable and beautiful bond with my daughter as they learn to work and play together. It is here that my daughter learns about compassion and care for the chronically ill. It is in this bed that my body is still and my eyes look toward the heavens and I can have long talks with my Father. This bed that was a generous gift from my in-laws. That is comfortable and supportive and ... enough.
Just like God's grace.
All I need.
Yes, there may be pain in my body today, but this is only an opportunity for God to display His power, His Grace, His love. It is here in my weakest hour that I am strongest because I rely fully on His Strength. On His provision. On His Grace.And yes, it is enough for today.
at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for
your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him
than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And
if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and
thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do
you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." Matthew 6:25-3 NLT