Rebuild and Restore
But God said to me (Paul), “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. – II Corinthians 12:9-10
Jamey sprained his left thumb. It is improving, but it makes work more difficult. He normally can do a lot of physical labor without much effort because he is big and strong, but these days that thumb is holding him back. This has given me an opportunity to help with things around the house that normally he would do himself. When he is weak, WE are stronger together. This is what Paul talks about in our II Corinthians passage this week. Paul had a weakness, a “thorn in my flesh”, he called it. He never names that “thorn”, but perhaps in keeping it to himself he helps us to all fill-in-the-blank with whatever “thorn” is our own individual weakness.
What is making you feel weak these days? Is it becoming increasingly difficult to find joy in the midst of isolation? Are you weary of all the conflict and hyper-partisan culture leading up to the presidential election? Are you struggling with loneliness, feelings of despair, struggling with substance abuse, or pornography? Are you feeling hopeless that things in this country will ever change with the news of yet another unarmed black man, Jacob Blake, gunned down by the police in front of his children? Or perhaps you fear for the future of our country?
In your weakness, God is strong. In your failures, God is forgiving. In your struggle, God is faithful.
As we complete our Summer series through Ezra we learn that the people of God finished the building and rebuilt the walls, but their relationship with God was not restored through the building projects. It was restored through their re-committing to the covenant relationship. They made plenty of mistakes along the way, but God continued to stand by them. God continued to use them for God’s glory. God continued to be faithful to the covenant. AND God will continue to stand by us, to use us, and to be faithful to us. When we are weak, then we are strong!
God continues to use us to bring glory to God’s name through Embracing Orphans and our ministry in Jamaica. In spite of our “weakness” of not being together in worship, God’s power is strong! In spite of the “thorn in our flesh” of Covid-19, God is being glorified around the world! The home for the Spence family is complete. Their family has been rebuilt. The 4 children living in state care are now in their new, beautiful home, with their mother and grandmother. A powerful restoration is occurring. Please keep this family in your prayers as God continues to rebuild and restore their covenants with each other.
If you need spiritual or emotional assistance, please reach out to me in the church office. We can connect on the phone, in your front yard, or over Zoom. If you are feeling hopeless, please reach out to a mental health professional. We are all in this together and we need one another to hold us up in those moments of fear, despair, or weakness.