In II Corinthians 12:9 it is made clear that the strength of God is seen more clearly when the object of His love becomes weaker. At first this seem to be quite paradoxical. Why would a God of love choose this method (the growing weakness of the object of His love) to communicate a clearer display of the strength of His favor (grace)? Isn’t it because the person who is weak is, by necessity, more conscience of his or her own need and the people who interact with this person are naturally driven to search for what inspires this person on. In other words, what keeps this person from cracking under the experience of hardship? There must be some reason.
It is at precisely this point that the personal story and strength to persevere pours out of the person and along with it the theme of the continual grace of God. Without the hardship there would be no need for heavenly grace and without heavenly grace there is no mention of an all-powerful and gracious God. I can’t think of a more vivid example of this dynamic than Joni Eareckson Tada.
Friends who have seen Joni recently have said that she has been really struggling lately with her health and that she is in need of much prayer. Justin Taylor asked her how readers of his blog could pray for her. She wrote:
I’ve been doing better and feeling much stronger since that presentation at the Dallas Theological Seminary chapel (see video below). If I were to ask for anything, I would say…
- Pray that my fragile bones become stronger.
- Ask God to infuse courage into my heart daily!
- Over all, my pain levels are getting much better but still, please pray away any anxiety.
- Help me not to become me-centered when I’m in pain!
- Pain medication is never fun to take. Pray that soon and very soon I won’t have to lean as heavily on it.
- Plead to God that I might know Jesus better through all of this and not “waste” my sufferings!!
As you linger in prayer this week, please consider taking these requests before the throne of grace.