Perfect Strength In Weakness

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NKJV)

“My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalms 23:6, NKJV)

Debilitating fatigue is often an underlying symptom of chronic illness or side effect of medication: lethargy, limited energy, weakness.  After 20+ years of living with chronic illnesses, my ambitious mind still struggles with my physical limitations — feelings of inadequacy and being a failure.

Since 1994, part of my treatment involves infusions of IVIg, an intravenous immunomodulating therapy.  Minor side effects are normal; but occasionally, infusion side effects require a couple days of bedrest: relentless headache, muscles aches, fatigue, and mild nausea.  Losing an additional two days of my planned week to this setback, my heart ached with dejection, filled with questions of despair…. “Why?  How much more?  Will I feel better soon?”

In the sanctuary of my bed, I thought, grieved, worried, and prayed.   Prayer was a continual conversation: pleas from my heart, petitions for family and friends, giving thanks, anything and everything. . .a precious time of communion.  Drifting in and out of restful sleep, I could feel the comfort of my Savior wrap me in love, His voice whispering to my heart from the rousing fragments of slumber.  As my failing body recovered from infusion side effects, my failing heart was strengthened.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  (Ps 46:1)

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
(Ps 46:1)

In reading different Bible translations of scripture, the word “infirmities” was sometimes replaced with “afflictions.” During my time of bedrest, my thoughts drifted to other struggles in life, “afflictions.”   Afflictions of worry, fear, despair, troubled relationships, financial burdens, work, family problems — revealing the fragile human weakness in me, in everyone — “a failing heart.”

I cannot live this life by my own strength with a failing body and soul.  When life becomes too heavy with burdens, I can rest in the loving arms of Jesus, “[my] refuge and strength. . .my portion forever.”  Through God’s grace,  He can use my weakness, my disabling illness, to reveal His strength to me and through me. . . “the power of Christ.”

Prayer:

Dear Lord, I thank you for holding me, loving me, and continually teaching me.  I thank you for your grace and strength to face life’s struggles.  Help me to daily surrender my weaknesses to you.  I love you. ~Amen

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~ by Debbie Richardson on May 5, 2013.

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