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Learning Through Our Pain

Paul wrote, “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9b-10).

Your response to these words might be something like this: “Well, Paul, that’s easy for you to say. Nice thoughts, but come on, be real.” Paul’s statement goes against every fiber of our being. It contradicts every natural human tendency. It’s just not that simple.

Paul’s statement goes against every fiber of our being.


But for Paul, who experienced more actual pain and suffering and persecution than any of us can probably even imagine, these words spoke of the truth he had discovered: God uses all the hard things in our life to make us whole and purify our souls.

 

I remember when Anthony was small and had his first major asthmatic attack. He could barely breathe. So, we took him to the doctor, and what did the doctor do? He pulled out a long needle to give him a shot that would make him better. When he saw that needle coming, Anthony panicked. So, I had to hold him down while he thrashed around and hollered. “Why are you helping him hurt me?” he screamed. 

He does what it takes to make our weakness a manifestation of His strength.


Well, that’s exactly what I was doing. And I did it because I knew that the minor pain of that needle prick contained the power that would help him breathe freely. God was going to use that pain to bring healing, because that’s the way He works. He does what it takes to make our weakness a manifestation of His strength.

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