II Corinthians 12:9. But he said to me, “… my power is made perfect in weakness.”
This word from God to Paul has been rattling around my head for several days. I had questions. Wasn’t God’s power already perfect? One commentary says Paul’s statement is better rendered “my power comes to full strength.” This helps. God’s power is seen perfectly and completely only when it’s necessary. If I’m handling everything to my own satisfaction, I probably wouldn’t be looking for or asking for God’s help.
My weakness could almost be seen as a gift to God, giving Him occasion to manifest his perfect power. When I looked at it that way — my weakness as a gift to God — I confess my first thought was that I would like to give God fewer gifts. This is not quite the way St. Paul looked at it.
12:9 …Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
And Paul had already recognized that his own weaknesses were, in a very real way, God’s gifts to him to keep him from being arrogant.
II Corinthians 12: 7. To keep me from becoming conceited… there was given me a thorn in my flesh….
My first reaction is that I would still rather be in Philadelphia. But do I want that badly enough to be a thief, stealing glory — or occasions for glory — from God? What if God is actually so interested in having a close relationship with me that He has already made great sacrifices to reach me? He turned down His own Son, who asked for an alternative plan while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. He’s probably ready to turn down some of my prayers, too, when He thinks He’s got a better plan. If I can just manage to knuckle under and let Him have the last word, not only does it give God a chance to shine, He might even be grateful I’ve let him. Paul seemed to think it would turn out all right for himself in the end.
II Corinthians 12:10. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
My weakness as a gift for God: I’ve got a lot of those gifts to give Him.
Hey, brother Job? Show me how you slap your hand over your mouth again?