Monday, October 15, 2012

Learning from Circumstances

Have you ever cautioned people not to be driven by their circumstances but to be driven by the truth? I’ve done that countless times. Yet we have to acknowledge that our circumstances are powerful teachers. When used and interpreted correctly the situation we find ourselves in can give us priceless instruction. I found myself learning from physical pain in my life to remind me of his grace. For about 22 years I’ve had frequent migraine headaches. In case you haven't experienced them, make no mistake. These are the kind that make me feel like someone smacked me in the head with a really big shovel. Some people get the hammer kind, some get the knife kind, I get the shovel kind. Sometimes I can barely see. Sometimes, but rarely, I feel nausea. Reasoned thought doesn’t exist. After a migraine I don’t remember anything that happened during it or much of what happened before it. When it’s really bad I will have one after another in a cycle that seems never-ending. This has happened to me a couple of times in the past year. It’s a problem, to say the least. What does Paul report in 2 Corinthians 12:9? He has a “thorn in the flesh” which bothers him intensely. We don’t know what it is. Yet as he prays again and again God tells him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (NIV). What is your struggle? No matter the battle we fight, we know that God’s grace is sufficient. He is able to bring us through it all and redeem it for his purpose. Of course, the other day, my wife reminded me of how that turned out for Paul. Ceaseless painful labor on earth, imprisonment, death by execution. Yet through it all God’s grace was sufficient for Paul. It’s sufficient for me too.

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