We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. 2 Cor. 1:8-11 (NIV)

Heavenly Father, there are some gospel-freedoms I have difficulty remembering and honoring. Today I’m thinking especially of accepting my limits. The “cult of competency” is bad religion, but it has a horde of worshippers. Forgive me for wanting to do and be more than you intend. Forgive me for not wanting to need the gospel, your Spirit, close friends, and rest as much as you say we do.

Thank you for the little bit of Paul’s story chronicled in this Scripture. I’m glad, that as the “apostle of grace,” Paul boasted in his weaknesses that Jesus might be the hero. Thank you for making this lover of God utterly dependent on the God he loved. I want to follow Paul as he followed Jesus.

So, Father, as this day begins, I forsake the illusion of my sufficiency and cast myself, and my cares on you— “the God who raises the dead” (2 Cor. 1:9). I’m not facing deadly perils, but I am walking with people I can’t fix and injustices I can’t right, lingering wounds that need healing and addicts who need recovery, an aging process that humbles me and needs-that-aren’t-my-call. Being poured out is a gospel thing; being burned out is a foolish thing.

Grant me grace to embrace my limits, joy for boasting in my weaknesses, and the peace of resting in Jesus. I know you to be the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort; I want to know you that way much, much more. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ kind and grace-full name.