8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 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. 10 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.
“No problem! I got this…”
Do you ever feel this way?
I received a strong reminder of God’s power when the neighborhood cat Daisy triggered a gut feeling in our Rascal dog that cleanly knocked obeying his master out of the park.
“My territory. My way.”
We were walking Rascal in the neighborhood when all of a sudden, I saw a flash of fur ahead of us in the near distance. Before I could react, the leash flew out of our hands with a big sudden jerk, trailing behind a disappearing Rascal around the corner of a house. He was chasing Daisy, who was scared for her life.
Oh no—he’s loose! This was the cry of my heart.
A deep wrench of “why didn’t you” flashed before me as I ran with heart thumping …Why hadn’t I had (didn’t I) keep a stronger grip on his leash? I clearly did not “have control“ and there was a problem. Rascal was gone!
Why, Why, why… A busy street lay just beyond Rascal’s disappearing tail. Roger hurried around the other side of the house in an attempt to head him off. But no such luck. As I ran, I prayed that Rascal would be found safe from danger away from the busy road in front of our house and return to us. I caught my breath in the front yard and surveyed the landscape in an eerie out-of-time pause.
When time picked up again, I returned to the present, seeing Roger across the busy street yelling to me, “I see him! Rascal, come see dad!”
A splash of light brown tail raced in the other direction. Then, as Rascal finally heard our voices, an “Oops I forgot look.” appeared on his face. He stopped dead in his tracks and faced us as Daisy scrambled behind her house.
Rascal approached Roger, much like a child after being caught with his hand in cookie jar. He slowly dipped his head, tentatively wagged his tail, and bowed deeply, as if asking for compassion and understanding.
As his contrition unfolded, my heart reawakened me to how our loving God welcomes us as we truly observe our weaknesses. He reveals them in what we are doing to ourselves and others, and bids us come back to Him.
When we awaken to the realization of our thoughtless actions, judgment of others, and disregard of God’s ways, we hear God’s voice calling us.
In the same manner as Christ, Roger leaned down, joyfully surrounding forgetful, cat-chasing Rascal with his arms. Roger’s loving tone rang out, “Rascal! You heard me and returned when I called.” Rascal’s tail immediately wagged faster and smiled. He behaved as if he were home, welcomed into His master’s arms.
We may say, “I got this! No problem!“
But do we? Our Savior says “Come to me. I Love you no matter what, I will surround you with my Love and strengthen you throughout your life. My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Not our power, but His holds us in life.
My challenge: read and meditate on the following verses from Corinthians 1, chapter 13 about LOVE. Perhaps, replace the word LOVE with your own name or God’s. Try doing so twice daily.
“13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Awaken to others by learning more about what our Lord Jesus did when he came to us as a man, choosing to be present with lovingkindness for all. Pray ceaselessly, giving God praise and worshiping him. Come back home.
Later, as we rested, I felt such gratitude and love as Rascal jumped up and nestled close with a sigh. As I petted his soft curly fur, he looked up, ears flopping open with his deep, soft brown eyes melting into mine.
God’s Love whispered, “I’ve got this. I Love you. You are Mine.”
© 2021 Bonnie Louise Smith-Davis