And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (King James version)The translation in The Message is as follows:
My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
In the verse prior to this one, Paul says that he went to God three times asking him to remove his “thorn” and God wouldn’t do it. Instead, He told him that His grace was sufficient and that His strength is made perfect in Paul’s weakness.
Have you ever been in pain or been going through something and just cried out to God and begged him to remove it? I’ve been there and all I wanted was for God to make me feel better. I just wanted the pain to stop. I could not figure out why after asking God for such a simple request I was still in pain. Doesn’t the Bible say, “Ask and it shall be given unto you”? Well, I was asking. Pleading, in fact. And nothing.
Through this verse I understood that it would have been easy for God to just remove my “thorn” but where would the lesson be? What would I have learned? Probably nothing. I know that God has a greater purpose and that there is a reason why I have to endure certain things. I believe that God wants me to recognize that no matter what, His grace is all I need. When I am at my weakest point, God will show me exactly how strong I am (through Him). He is teaching me to rely solely on Him. That I can do nothing without Him but with Him I can do all things.
Having this knowledge in and of itself is enough to carry me through any hard time.