Sufficient Grace

Rejection can often lead us to believe that the gifts we have isn’t enough, and generally we believe this not because we in fact don’t have enough but rather because of our enthusiasm for wanting to do more. Scripture tells us that even Jesus was rejected by those in his own hometown. It  is one thing for others whether family or acquaintances to disbelieve whom God has called us to be. It’s another thing when we begin to disbelieve it for our selves. We spend way too much time comparing our selves individually and collectively to others, thus believing that we are comparing apples to apples. When in fact we are comparing apples to oranges, both fruit but with different textures, flavors and most importantly different nutritional value. Was it not Paul who assured us that we as believers are one body with a variety of gifts, but one spirit and one God that activates all gifts (1 Cor. 12)? Yet even Paul found weaknesses about himself he once desired to strengthen. It wasn’t enough for Paul to be an apostle. Like the twelve chosen before him he too is sent out, not necessarily to cast out demons but to preach the gospel to all the gentiles. Paul wanted to be perfect. God said, there’s no need. In spite of the host of insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities he endured; Paul had everything he needed. Paul had the grace of God upon him. He doesn’t share with us his exact weakness except to say that it was quite painful, described as a thorn in his flesh (2 Corinthians 12:2-10). Whether it was physical or emotional Paul would have to live out his ministry tormented by its presence in his life, forever reminded of what he called a weakness, somehow implying that there are times perhaps when this painful situation causes him to pause. It causes him to reflect. Ultimately, it causes him to remember God’s mercy and God’s grace, and he never gives in to the weakness. Instead he turns it over to God. The disciples themselves were sent out earlier with nothing for their journey except a staff, the sandals on their feet and one tunic. Perhaps from Paul’s point of view, certainly if they could do it, he realized that a learned Jewish lawyer even in his weakness, with God’s help, could complete this journey. In both instances sending out the disciples with virtually nothing and Paul’s thorn, the message for those who believe is this; especially in our weakness, we don’t need a backup plan! God’s grace is sufficient.