My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor. 12:9
A month after our relocation to San Jose, it was a relief anticipating moving into our soon to be completed condo. I would not miss the nights of sleeping with earplugs to muffle the noise and would no longer need to drape a blanket over my eyes to block the light that faulty shades failed to stop.
Visiting our condo the evening before the scheduled move-in, we became aware of a number of complications that would delay the kitchen completion. I began praying for God to intervene. I sensed God saying to me, “My grace is sufficient for you.” An inner struggle arose within me as I sensed God alerting me to future challenges. Although, I was confident that God’s grace was available and sufficient, it wasn’t grace to endure that I desired, I wanted God to prevent inconveniences and struggles. I wanted protection from delays, not strength to respond to them in a way that honored God.
Paul’s struggles taught him that his prayers of deliverance would limit his growth and his opportunity to experience God’s transforming power as he faced conflict and struggles. Paul determined it was better to develop Christ-likeness through facing challenges rather than the comfort received because God answered his prayers to remove them.
Paul wanted “Christ’s power to rest on him.” The word “rest” (episkenoo) can be translated as “to tabernacle” or “pitch a tent.” Paul realized experiencing God’s rest is not dependent upon circumstances. God displays His power in pleasant or unpleasant circumstances. Because God is at work, we can live in a state of rest. As our hearts trust in God, a peace is experienced that surpassed all circumstances (Philippians 4:7).
Paul discovered the importance of letting God upgrade his desires for God’s better plans. My kitchen remodel was delayed 12 days. I lived surrounded by boxes and without a functioning kitchen. Although I had no desire to pray for this inconvenience, I’m learning to rest amidst the clutter confident that God is using undesirable circumstances to develop Christ-like character in me. (Philippians 1:6)
- Do your prayers focus on asking God to deliver you from circumstances or within them?
- Redirect your prayers asking God to empower you to face situations in a manner that glorifies Him.