“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
About a year and a half ago, my best friend lost his little brother to suicide. It was a really hard time for all of us as we were at a loss of words wondering why and how this had happened. For the funeral, he had asked me to come and read some Scripture along with some other members of his family, to give them some encouragement and peace in their time of struggle. In that moment of feeling joyful that he asked me to come and say a few words to be able to bless them, I felt unworthy to do so. I felt that I was not the person to try and give them some words that may give them just a sliver of peace in this dark valley. Before I went to the funeral, this verse in 2 Corinthians is where God brought me, to remind me that it is not about me or my life, but solely about His power and grace. In my weakness, His power is made perfect. His grace is all I can ever want, and more than I will ever deserve. This verse taught me that I will not fear my inability to do God’s work, but I will rest in the fact that even with my many weaknesses and faults, Christ’s power can and will work through me because He, not I, is that powerful.
What Paul says here to the church of Corinth is one of the most radical, encouraging, and hard to grasp verses that there is. In our culture, we focus so much on our strengths. It is not about how well we can do something, how long we have worked at perfecting our craft, and what we can do for ourselves. These are all great things, but that is not the focus for us as Christians. That first statement at the beginning of this verse, “My grace is sufficient for you” caught my attention. Before he even begins to talk about his weaknesses, he first states that above all else God’s grace is more than we will ever need. Even if we live our lives with no money in our pockets, no roof over our heads, or no clothes on our backs, if we accept the free gift of grace that God offers through the blood of Jesus Christ then we will have more than we can ever want, need, or deserve. The rest of what Paul says rests on this idea. In the midst of all our weaknesses and struggles, God’s grace is enough for us, and His strength is enough to do all that He wants to do through us. Boast in our weaknesses because in them the power of Christ is made perfect. That is an amazing, and radical truth.