Easter Devotion – April 21, 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul refers to a thorn in his flesh. He asks God to
take it away. God responds with,
[God] “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect
in weakness.” [Paul] “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of
my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For
the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness…For when I am
weak, then I am strong.”
As someone who lives with chronic pain, I identify with Paul. Pain is not
easily ignored, nor should it be. We can become easily frustrated or angry
with the ailments of our physical bodies. I have pleaded with God to take
away the pain, just like Paul, and God has said, “not now.”
In this distress, the devil tries to turn our thoughts from Christ. But, take
note of how Paul responds to God’s answer of sufficient grace. It would be
easy to say “no” and keep complaining. Instead, Paul accepts the answer
and chooses contentment, inviting God into the conversation about his pain
and speaks even more of God’s power in the midst of it. Paul does this so
others may also know the grace and love of God.
We choose how we respond in hard times, wallowing in the pain or living in
God’s grace, speaking of who He is, even when the pain hurts the most. It is
not necessarily easy, but it is good.
Paul says in verse 9, “so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” which is
also translated as “dwell in me.” This speaks of Christ’s presence in our lives
at our lowest points. For it is by grace Christ dwells within us, whether we
are hurting or not. We live in grace each day, placing our thoughts on the
promise found in Christ alone.
THE PRAYER: God, no matter what life brings today, I know your grace is
sufficient and all I need. Help me to place my heart and mind on you, even
when life gets hard, so that others may know the power of your love and
grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
THE AUTHOR: Bethany Andrews is the Children’s Ministry Director at Zion
Lutheran Church. Originally from Iowa, she went to school at Concordia
University-Nebraska and has served in congregational and camp ministry
settings in Nebraska, Arkansas, and Indiana.