I am certain I asked God more than 3 times for my suffering to come to an end.
As a matter of fact, I actually begged Him on multiple occasions to put me out of my misery. Whether that meant somehow simply dulling the pain of living without my little girl or altogether removing me from this world didn’t make a difference. All I wanted was some type of relief. I yearned for the ache to go away.
I was already a mess and melting from the fiery tongues of trauma when I read the 7th scripture in this series. I’m thankful God led me to it when He did because I was drowning in my own efforts. Anxiety, fear, confusion, hurt, anger and isolation accompanied everything I did throwing me into a distorted state of mind and making everything that much more difficult. Trauma and the edgy after effects have a way of piercing every experience one encounters.
When I tried to fix my situation, I got frustrated. When I tried to ignore the turmoil around me, that didn’t seem to work. If I decided to immerse myself in my environment, everything became a bigger mess. For all that I was doing, it seemed I wasn’t getting anywhere. The emptiness I felt and the energy I was exerting to live beyond my loss left me exhausted.
Honestly, I was weary and weak from trying to work my way to wholeness.
So when I read and received God’s counsel as presented in Corinthians 12:8-9 my spirit was refreshed! I felt like I could let me guard down, and allow someone else to do the work. The instructions weren’t easily enforced because it required that I give up the right to try and make things go my way. However, I knew I needed to trust they would work.
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
After pondering the passage, I was confident God was aware of how uncomfortable I was. I appreciated He understood the desperation and desire I felt to be delivered. His beloved Apostle Paul had expressed the same type of torment. Immediately, it felt good to know I wasn’t the only one crying out at the feet of Jesus.
Now that I had a partner in pain, with confidence I scoured the scripture for more information. More relief washed over me as I read on and discovered the struggle wasn’t mine to solve. Through the scripture God promised to show up when I couldn’t go on. He spoke to a grace that would cover me when I was crushed. Immediately, I felt a certain permission to crumble into the arms of Christ.
It was in this broken and shattered position, I sensed God telling me,
“You relax, while I do the work!”
“Sit down and give Me room to show up!”
“Stop struggling and I will save you!”
As I scrutinized the scripture, I accepted it was telling me to sink into the arms of Jesus and stay there!
The message moved me in such a powerful way. All at once, I realized that God was showing me it was OK to throw in the towel when it all got to be too much. Furthermore, he suggested I relinquish my ways altogether, so I could find rest in His.
Once I understood this, then I could embrace the 3rd part of the scripture. Particularly, the sentence that says we should boast or be joyful about our weaknesses. Never before did I like saying I couldn’t handle something. However, God had shown me the resilience of a divine relationship. It is when we surrender our painful situation to Him, that He supplies the provisions and power to see us through.
No longer is there a need to fight against our weakness when we are worn out. Instead, we are to accept a calming knowledge of being cared for while Jesus works things out.
At the realization of all this, if you can imagine I wanted to shout, “Hallelujah Lord, I trust you to handle things from here on out!”
And there I was, just like the scriptures promised would happen, experiencing a sense of excitement about my affliction.
So now and each time in the future the struggles of life leave me feeling wrung out and weak, I recall the wisdom found in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 .
Knowing the holy words I hold deep in my heart aren’t so much about giving up. More importantly, they are about giving in and trusting God for protection, for power and for His perfection to play out!
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2 thoughts on “Giving Up vs Giving In”
Another good word!!!
Embracing weakness is so contrary to our human condition, but I thank you for reminding me that His grace is sufficient for me. Great Sunday afternoon reading!
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