This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead…

We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 2 Cor. 1:9; 4:7

Heavenly Father, there are some gospel-freedoms that are difficult to remember and honor. Accepting our limits is certainly one of them. The “cult of competency” is bad religion, but it has a horde of worshippers. Forgive us for wanting to do and be more than you intend. Forgive us 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 humanity chronicled in this Scripture. We’re glad, that as the “apostle of grace,” Paul boasted in his weaknesses that Jesus might be the hero. He had no need to be “omni-competent.”

Thank you for making this lover of God utterly dependent on the God he loved. We want to follow Paul as he followed Jesus. So, on this Saturday in January, we forsake the illusion of our sufficiency and cast ourselves, along with our cares, on you— “the God who raises the dead” (2 Cor. 1:9).

We’re not facing deadly perils (like Paul), but we are walking with people we can’t fix and broken stories we can’t right. Many of us have lingering wounds that need healing, an aging process we can’t control, and longer to-do lists than hours in the day. Being poured out is a gospel thing; being burned out is a foolish thing.

Grant us grace to embrace our limits, joy for boasting in our weaknesses, and the peace of resting in Jesus. Thank you for being the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ kind and grace-full name.