But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I find this one of the most confronting passages in Scripture because it tells me that rough and tough times are part of the Christian’s journey. There will be sadness, sorrow and pain on our pilgrimage through this world. Worst still, we can’t expect a bed of roses as a matter of course. In fact, easy times will be the exception rather than the rule.
This truth was brought home to me recently through a number of circumstances: a young child fighting cancer, another with leukemia and a parent with a fatal illness. Three families – three battles – three pictures of overwhelming sadness; good people going through exceptionally difficult struggles.
But there is also the promise of this text. Through these struggles, God’s love upholds us – enables us to bear these griefs – but even greater, they enable Christ to be revealed in our lives. Tough love!
Christ is also the ultimate hope. The struggles won’t last. The grief will not remain. After the pilgrimage is ended there is a place of completion and perfection awaiting God’s children. Joy and fullness will be the result. That is worth holding out for!
In the meantime, the journey may get very rough at times.