Let the power of God's grace flow through you
" ... My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness ..."
-- 1 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
I remember the day well. I was rifling through the leftovers in my friend's refrigerator. I was grateful she shared the remains of her home-cooked meals with me, and for her listening ear.
As I looked over the salad and other selections, I shared how weak I felt in managing all the problems I was facing at the time.
My friend's voice was barely within earshot when I heard her say, "That's not at all how you appear to me. You're one of the strongest people I know."
I closed the refrigerator door and sat down at the table. I was trying to process what she said. How could I appear to handle my problems so well when I felt so weak and overwhelmed?
That thought perplexed me for years until one day I studied about God's grace. Then it hit me. That's how I made it through the tough times. God's power flowed through me and gave me the strength I needed to carry on in my weakness, even when I didn't realize it.
With all the fears revolving around the pandemic, it's one of the most difficult times many have faced. Like others, you may feel like you can hardly take one more step forward. No need to feel ashamed. You need some of God's grace to make it through.
It's our weaknesses that keep us dependent on God. God wants us to come to him in prayer and lean on him. When the Apostle Paul was dealing with something he referred to as "a thorn in the flesh," he couldn't handle it. God reassured him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness."
Grace is the power we can ask God for. It's the strength that comes to us when we feel we can't go on. The good news is we don't have to be perfect for God to extend his grace to us, because we can't improve our lives unless he gives us the power to do it.
I discovered it's not the absence of fear that makes us succeed. It's the ability to grab hold of our mental and emotional strength despite that fear.
Do you have a thorn in the flesh? Ask God to give you the grace to deal with it. Face those hard-to-deal with people in your life with a loving attitude. Establish and maintain those boundaries with your eating, finances or wherever you need to.
Decide you can make it to the other side of your grief. Don't be afraid to face another day because you feel helpless and alone.
Even though nothing changes right away, know that you can see it through because God's grace is flowing through you.
• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. Contact her by emailing Annetteebudzban@aol.com or call (847) 543-8413. She is available to be your personal coach.