“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in 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 Corinthians 12:9-10
This scripture was included this morning in New Morning Mercies, by Paul David Tripp. I needed the reminder. Towards the end of this devotional, Tripp says; “…he was content because he knew weakness is the doorway to real power, power that only God can and willingly does supply.” He was referring to Paul and the “thorn” that was in his flesh. What that thorn was, this particular passage does not say. However, looking at my study Bible notes, the idea is suggested the thorn being “a messenger of satan”. Felt any thorns lately? For me, thorns feel more like arrows. They can come through the news and the number of death reports for the day, a comment or even a thought from my own mind. Sometimes they come as reminders of who I use to be, which has been forgiven. Yes, messages from our enemy that would love to wound us and keep us from remaining faithful.
Another thought came this morning regarding these arrows. What if instead of thinking of arrows that can wound us or take us out, we use them for their other intended us, direction? I remember my mom and one of my younger cousins had this running joke between the two of them. My cousin did not like arrows when she was little. My mom and her would laugh every time she pointed one out. There was nothing harmful about the arrow, just a fun connection between the two. Maybe we can do the same. While arrows are not fun, they can serve as a connection between our weakness and Christ’s strength. We all have places the enemy seems to be able to get between our armor (see Ephesians 6). He has been watching people since the beginning of creation. We have’t changed in our weaknesses all that much.
So maybe today when an arrow comes flying, usually when you are not expecting it, remember to let it point you to the provider of all you need. When fear comes possibly through the news, remember He is always with you. When thoughts of who you once were come whispering in your ear, remind yourself that that person died with Christ and you now live as a new creation. We can no more change our redemption status than we can put Christ back in the empty tomb. Forgiven is now our story, regardless of our past if we have believed and accepted this Easter gift. This is good news, friends!
One more thing. As we keep walking towards Sunday, there will be thorns and there will be an arrow, or spear in the Easter story. Each pierce was taken on our behalf and for life now and for all eternity. These wounded our Savior and one confirmed His death, but He loved the whole world that much. I am so thankful!! May we each be reminded of His great love for us and His strength today.