What powerful words those are: "My grace is sufficient for you." Meaning, 'my grace is enough." I used to think, "grace is great, but I could really use some _________ right about now." I think I understand more clearly now.
You know, it doesn't have to be cancer that makes you realize what it means for grace to be sufficient for you. Last week, someone guessed my age to be far older than I am. Let me tell you, that took a lot of grace. I choose to believe that it's because my hair is short. At least that's what I'm telling myself. But in that moment, that insignificant moment, of prideful vanity, it took grace not to cry. It took grace, not to be wounded. It took grace not to crawl under my desk and hide. It took great grace.
This week both of my kids are sick. We had plans. We had things we were going to do. It's Thanksgiving week. My kids are out of school and here we are, stuck at home, waiting out a fever, missing school programs and performances. It is taking grace not to be disappointed. It is taking grace not to feel self-pity. It is taking grace not to crawl into bed and cover up my head because our plans have been changed.
Paul said, "Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me..." Sometimes we have one thing that just lingers and we plead that it will be lifted from us. Other times it's a hundred niggling little things that pile up into one disappointment after another, and we plead that it will lift.
But His answer to us is always the same: "My grace is sufficient for you." Why? Because his power is made perfect in weakness. When we persevere under pressure, when we stand and face the mighty trials, when we muster the strength to keep going day after day, when we choose joy, when we cling to hope, when we wait for our rescue, His power is made perfect in our weakness.
As I look in the mirror, I see a few more wrinkles than I did this time last year. I see a woman with shorter hair. I don't have the legs of a runner or the toned abdominal muscles I had a year ago, but by His grace I'm still here.
I have said from the beginning, "if this is the path God has chosen for me I will walk it with as much grace as I possibly can." I'm still learning about walking gracefully. I don't have to just walk gracefully through the trials of cancer. I am called to walk gracefully through the sicknesses of my children. I am called to walk gracefully when people injure my pride. I am called to walk gracefully when my plans get changed. Why? Because it points others to Christ. When he is our strength others see him through us.
So, I won't hide under my covers today. I won't look for another remedy for wrinkled skin. I won't allow myself to feel disappointment and self-pity over plans that change. Instead, I will remember that, "My grace is sufficient for you."
Only by His Grace,