“Grace doesn’t depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.”
― Wm. Paul Young
We should know the blessing in the reality that in our weakness we come to the end of our power. This is the time when God’s power might intercede and help us. This power is called grace.
It is not until we have suffered – and have come to the end of our power – when we have become truly weak – that our eyes are opened regarding grace. It isn’t until we have been in this situation that we understand grace. Perhaps it can be said that we don’t truly understand God until we have come to the end of our power – until we have felt crippled against the situation that has brought us to our knees – and for then, to reach out to God because we truly needed him.
To benefit from the power inherent in God’s grace, therefore, two things must occur:
1. We must suffer enough that we buckle under the pressure to the point of surrender, and (if)
2. We don’t resist or resent such a weakening, but we respond by turning back to God in our weakness. In this we are pleasantly weak, and only in this can we be strengthened.
It is hard for anybody who hasn’t experienced this pleasant weakness to understand it, for what God offers through such a crushing experience. We cannot expect people to know what they haven’t yet come to experience. But just as much, those who have never taken both steps simultaneously (1 and 2 above) shouldn’t resent the person who has, by God’s abundant grace, been blessed suchlike.
Grace meets every suffering need, and it does so through our faith. As we experience the knowledge of God who flounders with us in our suffering, it is weakness through surrender that proffers us to strength. This is not the sort of strength that the world pictures. This is a better, more reliable strength, for it diffuses fear and helps us feel comfortable in our acceptance.
There is really no greater strength than accepting the given moment and situation we find ourselves in. In that is the meld of wisdom and courage and humility in abundance.
God’s grace can help appease our suffering need, because at the end of our power is the beginning of God’s power. When we no longer need to prove anything, or try too hard, or feel guilty or ashamed about our incapacity, God has proven the power of grace, and we accept life exactly how it is. That is strength in weakness.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.