A number of years ago I wrote an essay about my collection of canes, staffs, and walking sticks and mused that I might someday graduate to a walker. Well, the day has come. A combination of back issues and peripheral neuropathy has left me pushing a three-wheel walker. I can’t hike; I can’t fish; I can’t do many of the things that used to bring me great joy.
I’m trying to learn, however, that my limitation, whatever it may be, is a gift from God, and it is with this gift that I am to serve Him. This gift and not another. This is true of all of us, whether our limits are emotional, physical, or intellectual. Paul was so bold as to say that he boasted in his weakness for it was in weakness that God's power was revealed in him (2 Cor. 12:9).
Seeing our so-called liabilities this way enables us to go about our business with confidence and courage. Rather than complain, feel sorry for ourselves, or opt out, we make ourselves available to God for His intended purposes.
I have no idea what He has in mind for you and me, but we shouldn’t worry about that. Our task today is just to accept things as they are and to be content, knowing that in the love, wisdom, and providence of God this moment is as good as it can possibly be.
Dear Lord, I know that You are good and You love me. I trust You to give me everything I need for today.
Contentment enables you to grow where God has planted you.
Paul possessed “a thorn in [his] flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7), which prayer did not eliminate. Whatever it was, it was painful and physical. Some Bible teachers believe it was an eye disease, since elsewhere Paul refers to having eye problems (Gal. 4:15; 6:11) and that others might have treated him “with contempt or scorn” (4:14) because of an illness he had when he “first preached the gospel” to the Galatians (4:13). Paul’s enemies seemed to ride him because of his physical limitations. I imagine them asserting, “God doesn’t even answer his prayers or heal him” (see 2 Cor. 12:8–10). Nevertheless, Paul viewed his limitations as a reflective mirror to magnify God’s greatness.