Country Lights Uganda Blog
This is the one-hundred-ninety-eighth lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.
“Therefore, to keep me from becoming conceited, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
In a film about a man coming to terms with his wife’s progressive Alzheimer’s disease, the husband one day loses his cool. He shakes her and screams: “I hate you, Iris, you stupid cow! I loathe you, every inch of you! All your friends are finished with you now…I’ve got you now, and I don’t want you!”
Contrast that with Roberston McQuilken, who for 20 years was president of Columbia Bible College and a world-recognized Christian leader. He resigned his position in order to care for his wife, who also had advanced Alzheimer’s (the full story is told in the book A Promise Kept). In his letter of resignation, McQuilken explained: “[Muriel] has cared for me fully and sacrificially all these years; if I cared for her for the next 40 years I would not be out of her debt. Duty, however, can be grim and stoic. But there is more: I love Muriel…I don’t have to care for her. I get to! It is a high honor to care for so wonderful a person.”
Messiah has come. He announced at J-Day that he would bring signs of healing to the world—and he did it. But miraculous healings are just a hint of the total, complete healing yet to come when Christ returns to remake heaven and earth. In the meantime, we deal with injuries that may leave a soldier without a leg, with chronic illnesses that have no cure, and with common feebleness that accompanies the aging body.
But grace is stronger than it all.
In 2 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul reveals something very personal. Besides continual threat to his personal safety, he suffered some kind of physical malady which he called his “thorn in the flesh.” He doesn’t say exactly what it was, but it was most likely a physical problem. Because it was chronic, it was frustrating. He called it a “messenger of Satan” (because God is not the source of pain). He prayed earnestly to be healed. Then he submitted to this higher reality: God’s grace was sufficient for the day. God’s power is often seen more fully in weakness than in strength.
MAKE IT REAL
Pray today for someone you know who has to deal with chronic illness. Pray for that person to find God’s grace for today. And if there is a loving act you can offer, do it.
[If you believe this series will be helpful, this is the perfect time to forward this to a friend, a group, or a congregation, and tell them they too may sign up for the weekly emails here]
Mel Lawrenz (@MelLawrenz) trains an international network of Christian leaders, ministry pioneers, and thought-leaders. He served as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for ten years and now serves as Elmbrook’s teaching pastor. He has a PhD in the history of Christian thought and is on the adjunct faculty of Trinity International University. Mel’s many books include Spiritual Leadership Today: Having Deep Influence in Every Walk of Life (Zondervan, 2016). See more of Mel’s writing at WordWay.
The post How to Live the Bible — When Healing Doesn’t Happen appeared first on Bible Gateway Blog.
As reported on Christian News Uganda - Access the Original News Source Here.