Monday, August 23, 2010

A Whole Bush

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (New Living Translation)
...even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

The other day I sent this verse to a couple of friends. One responded and said... "I some how ended up with more than one thorn... how did that happen?" My response... "Oh AMEN!!! I have a whole freaking bush!"

I then read it in The Message...

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (The Message)
Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

Lately I have for sure felt weak. I can not "function" the way I am use to. That I have had to accept the limitations of grief. What the circumstances in my life have asked for. That I have needed more time to process and rest, just be. That I cry more often than normal. That I can't be there for all those I see hurting (of course I never can be, but let's just say less than I could before.) That my room and office look like 2 bombs went off in them instead of 1. That I feel harder to be around than normal. That I just can't be wonder woman and do it all!!!

And yes... it frustrates me. And I have even "begged God to remove it." But alas, this is part of His plan and story for me. It is what He has for me right now and it is what He wants to use to show His strength. He wants me to let HIM move, work, be all that I need. It's not easy! In fact, I think I have actually whined about it a few time in the last couple of months.

But what I want to do today is look for the roses that are with the thorns. I want to pray that God will use the "freaking bush" to show His beauty and love to the world around me. That's my prayer today.

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