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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
It’s called “Radical Acceptance”-and it’s encouraged when you simply have to acknowledge that “it (my present situation) is what it is” and that you are powerless to do anything about it.
The Apostle Paul had finally come to a place of needing to radically accept that there was nothing he could do about the “it” that had been plaguing him and that he had been desperately trying free himself from in his life. He had done the right thing: going to the LORD to ask for liberation from “it.”
Isn’t it interesting that we don’t really knew what “it” was that Paul was so mightily struggling with? Do you suppose that our gracious God through this silence is inviting us to insert our own malady into the equation-if only to console ourselves in the fact that we are not alone in our sufferings and struggles?
We too can come to a place of “sweet surrender” (acceptance) in trusting that our gracious God sometimes permits us to continue to bear a “heavy cross” for our ultimate benefit and blessing. And while we may never understand “why” in this world, we can still trust that His plan will always work out for our eternal good (cf. Romans 8:28)
Just consider the thrice prayed request of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane that went unanswered (at least in the way he had hoped it would be answered). He had pleaded with His Father three times for Him to remove the dreadful cup of suffering he was about to drink (cf. Matt. 26:39-44) Aren’t you happy that God in essence said “no” to removing His son’s bitter suffering-so that we would not have to face separation from Him for all eternity?
“You can let it make you bitter or you can let it make you better”. You have probably heard at least a version of this old saying. With God’s help we can learn to radically accept the will of God as we put our trust in Him to use even bad to serve as a blessing for his children in time and for eternity.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your willingness in accepting your Father’s will for you-so that I might be set free from the damning load of sin I had placed on myself. Help me now to “radically accept” through faith whatever your plan is for my life and to trust you to use it in a powerful way for my good and for your glory. It’s in your name that I ask it as a I trust I am being heard because of your perfect access to the Father. Amen.