2 Corinthians 12:7b-10
"He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" — 2 Corinthians 12:9
Mental illness is often discussed in hushed tones, along with the request “Please don’t tell anyone.” Yet an estimated one in four people suffers from a mental health issue, according to a 2018 World Health Organization report.
My family knows firsthand the struggle of depression, as it was my mother’s “thorn in the flesh” for much of her life. This was not easy for her, and it was often heartbreaking to live with her. At her memorial service, my father preached on the power of God’s grace that was evident in their 60-year marriage.
Paul writes of his “thorn” that was obviously painful and permanent, even though he pleaded with God to take it away. In spite of this burden, Paul was still blessed with a powerful ministry and a rich legacy. Christ-followers are not exempt from suffering, but God promises that his perfect power is more than sufficient to carry us through.
This was my father’s testimony as he walked with my mom through her many health crises and rollercoasters of emotions. When they were at the end of their ropes, the resurrection power of God gave them strength to take yet another step—until she no longer could, and then God lovingly took her home with “Hallelujah” on her lips.
When we are weak, God shows up in full force.
Lord, I am weak, but you are strong. Help me not to fear weakness but instead to lean into you as my source of power and grace. I need you every hour. Amen.