“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
When Paul shared the word given to him by the Lord, it was in response to Paul asking God to remove an affliction from him. Paul was dealing with a constant situation that he no longer wanted to deal with and asked God to remove the “thorn from his flesh.” The thorn or affliction is never identified as the significance is nothing compared to the grace God gives Paul to endure the hardship. One can only conclude that the affliction made Paul wiser, stronger, and more reliant on God as God is our source of all things life sustaining.
Reflecting on the above verse reminds me of the past years challenges right through to the New Year. There are many afflictions we are enduring as a nation such as racism, social justice inequities, and a pandemic that can be seen as a thorn in the nation as well as the world. Many of us are tired of social distancing, not being able to travel, see loved ones, and death caused by the affliction of COVID. Like Paul’s affliction, it is a constant reminder of the inconvenience of our way of life. A life many of us probably took for granted until now. We are able to see what we had before was not so bad. While we have prayed for a quick relief in the form of a vaccine or for COVID to go away altogether, all I hear God say is “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Amid the anxiety, slow vaccine distribution, and relentless pandemic God is still with us. Guiding us through this difficult time as we continue to draw strength from knowing that when we are weak, God is strong. Strong enough to carry us through to the other side as in the infamous Foot Print prayer. Let us hold on, not give up, and remained encouraged as God will never leave us nor forsake us as we keep our minds and hearts focused on God.
Reverend Takana L. Jefferson, Chaplain, United States Navy