Just recently, I finished reading In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado, and I was struck with the awesomeness that exists in the reality of God’s grace. Grace is an attitude and action that is not merited— sometimes even undeserved. Even so, Christ offers His grace to us again and again without penalty and without holding our wrongs against us. True, we may anger and sadden Him with the poor choices we make, but He remains faithful even when we stumble.
In 2 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul writes of a “thorn in the flesh” of which he begged for the Lord to take from him. Yet, even though he prayed three times that this affliction would be removed, the Lord responded with these words: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Some may ask why this affliction existed in a dedicated servant of Christ like Paul. Why would God allow a weakness such as this thorn to enter into His life? Wouldn’t this prevent Him from participating in fully effective ministry?
I found myself asking similar questions about a year ago as I struggled through a series of debilitating allergies that took my voice and sometimes even my breath. I pleaded with God that He would take this illness from me. I was terrified at the thought of possibly losing my ability to sing. I thought music was my calling and ministry role. Why would God allow something like this to happen in my life? How could I be effective for Him in His kingdom if I couldn’t lift songs to Him in praise?
One answer I would like to present exists in 2 Corinthians 12:7. Paul recounts that perhaps the thorn in the flesh existed so that he might not become conceited. There is so much truth to this, and I think it has bearing on my life as well. Sometimes, as a musician, it is so easy to rely on my own musical skill and the strength in my talents. Even though I don’t intend to, I find myself relying on self rather than on God in these times.
I came through that time of sickness realizing that God is truly faithful. Although I didn’t recover overnight (in fact, it took close to a year before I felt remotely like myself again), I saw His provision in everything. I came to rely on Him fully in trust and increasing love. If I can borrow Lucado’s words, I found myself “in the grip of grace.”
Our worship band at church often leads in the song “Your Grace is Enough” by Chris Tomlin, and this tune is a poignant reminder of God’s grace and His redeeming love. As I read through Lucado’s book, I found myself reflecting on this song with a new perspective. Is God’s grace truly enough for me? Can I leave behind my own selfish ambitions and concentrate on the One who gave everything to me without strings attached and without demanding anything in return?
So I leave you today asking the same question of you: Is His grace enough for you? I pray you will find that the answer is yes. Blessings, friends!