No Pain, No Gain
“And He said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Last year I underwent two major back surgeries to correct numerous disks that were ruptured. Bone spurs had grown and touched major nerves and stenosis, which is more like arthritis filling up areas near the nerves in my spine. The pain I had to endure through all of 2019 was extreme. Twice, the pain required me to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. The good news is that a marvelous neurosurgeon, here in Abilene, took on the challenge to correct the issues in my back through surgeries…the last one just a few days before Christmas.
Following a short, initial recovery period, I found myself scheduled for outpatient physical therapy to strengthen the leg muscles that had gotten so weak from my spinal issues. I was needing to get ready to endure more pain through exercise in therapy. What I was to go through, however, was not a painful sprint to incur healing as quick as possible, but a marathon to carefully, strengthen each area that had become so weak.
I learned that I must be patient with my weakness and look for God’s grace through the process of recovery. The apostle Paul had a thorn in the flesh also, (I wonder if it hurt like a spinal bone spur) and could not find physical relief through medicine or prayer. His encouragement to us is found in 2 Corinthians 12, “…a thorn in my flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Today’s Prayer: Healing Father, I know that it is your will that I be made whole and complete in You. If certain pain is to remain and keep me weak in a certain area of my life, please help me to welcome Your strength through the weakness. I’m confident that it is better for me to finish the race You have set before me than to quit the race because I cannot endure the pain. Cause me to experience the “gain” of becoming the person you want me to be in the midst of the pain that is mine to endure.
Today’s Challenge: What pain are you experiencing right now that you could give to God so that He could leverage it in order to make you more like Jesus? Are you willing to thank Him for your pain and weakness in order for His strength of character to grow in you…for the sake of others?