The Promise is to You

His Power, My Weaknesses

Theresa Hofer, CTK’s Communication Coordinator and an Upper Room prayer minister, blogged this article on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. She has given us permission to share it now because of its timely relevance to what the Holy Spirit has spoken at the Jubilee events and to our preparations for Alpha.

 

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
-2 Corinthians 12:9a (RSV)

3-7-17: I was just reflecting on the Lord’s promise to give me everything I need in light of my many weaknesses. And the thought just occurred to me that I need weaknesses. I need weaknesses to make me humble, to prevent me from becoming self-reliant, to keep me turning back to Jesus, relying on Him, clinging to Him, depending on Him, on His Mercy.

Thank You, Lord, for giving me everything I need, including my weaknesses. Help me to always remember that my weaknesses are a gift from You, something that I need, and to thank You for them. Amen.

St. Paul in Prison by Rembrandt

I wrote those words in my prayer journal last Tuesday morning. On Wednesday, a huge windstorm swept across lower Michigan with wind gusts as high as 68 mph. Over 800,000 homes and businesses lost power, more than one-third of the customers of the local utility company. My home was out of power for almost three days, my parish where I work for six. It was a time of upheaval, as my housemate and I sought other places to stay, and each day brought the cancellation of more events at our parish, including the Sunday Masses. It brought into sharp focus how much we depend on electricity for even the basic tasks of work and daily living.

On Saturday I was praying that electricity would be restored in time for the Sunday Masses. I suddenly felt like the Lord said, “How badly do you want MY power?” My sense was, As badly as I wanted to see electrical power restored, that’s how badly He wanted me to seek Him to see His power unleashed in the parish.

Yesterday, I was praying with the opening verses of 2 Corinthians 12 about St. Paul’s famous “thorn in the flesh,” which he begs God to remove from him. The Lord responds, “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'” (2 Cor. 12:9a) It’s a verse I’ve pondered many times before, especially since February 2006, when I sensed that this verse represented “new territory” that the Lord had for me and for us as a parish.

This time as I read the verse, I asked myself, “Do I want His power enough that I want to fully experience my weaknesses?” It’s not pleasant. Any romantic notions of being without power quickly faded under the cold winter winds. The stresses of the past days (and my situation was not nearly as bad as some, since I had friends who quickly took me in until our house power returned) revealed that my patience and any other virtues I may have thought I had were really as thin and brittle as old parchment. I squirmed with discomfort as I was confronted with my pride and other vices lurking just under the cracking veneer.

But if I really want to experience His power operating, then I need to experience my weaknesses. I need to be able to say with St. John the Baptist, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) I need to know the truth of His words that “apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5b)

Help me, Lord. Through the prayers of Your Mother, the simple, pure Handmaid of the Lord, and the power of Your Spirit, her Spouse, help me reach the point where I can say with St. Paul, “I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9b-10)

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One Comment

  1. John
    Posted August 18, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Theresa,
    Thank you for reminding me that my place of trial and tears,doubt in myself is always the place of strengthening and change.
    “I looked in the firery furnace and there was a fourth man that looked like the Son of God”
    Thank you Jesus

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