Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor. 12:8-10 (ESV)
Dear heavenly Father, this passage has proven to be “home room” for me in many difficult seasons of life. Through it I’ve found freedom to wrestle with you, that I might ultimately find rest in you, again and again. You don’t always explain things or answer our prayers the way we want you to, but you always give us more of yourself and promise enough of your grace.
Today, I’m moved to pray the truths of this Scripture for friends in the middle of stories, calamites, and hardships that make it difficult to trust you, or even risk hoping again. Like the woman with the “discharge of blood” for twelve years (Luke 8:43-48), they have spent all they have on the pain and heartache, yet things are worse, not better. The journey from despising weakness to resting in you is often very difficult.
Father, grant special grace to friends suffering with yet-to-be-clearly diagnosed chronic conditions. Losing health quite often leads to hosing heart, when all the blood work, MRIs, scans, and tests reveal nothing, and yet the condition persists. God be gracious.
Father, grant special grace to friends whose pain isn’t physical, but is emotional. When our children blow it, our spouses fail us, our friends desert us, our employers/employees betray us, our leaders deceive us… itpleaded be absolutely overwhelming, especially when the pattern keeps repeating itself. God be gracious.
Father of mercies and God of all comfort, for my friends who have plead for relief, in some cases for years, I join that prayer. But even more so, I pray you will give them yourself. Don’t let the anger, rage, despair, or hopelessness win, Father. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ strong and compassionate name.