November 28, 2012

He gives power in weakness, not in self-confidence

Today I feel like Jacob. He was a self-sufficient man until God touched him and left him limping.

Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip. Therefore to this day the children of Israel do not eat the muscle that shrank, which is on the hip socket, because He touched the socket of Jacob’s hip in the muscle that shrank. (Genesis 32:31–32)

Yesterday was a great day. I did my chores with a song in my heart, rejoicing in the goodness of God and having more energy than I’ve had for a long time. Then, just before supper, something kicked me in the stomach. I’ve spent most of today in bed, feeling anything but energetic. 

The same thing happened three years ago after our annual Grey Cup party. I know it was something that I ate, but that is a secondary cause. God is sovereign and anything that happens to me is His doing. Three years ago I was angry in my weakness. This time my heart is calm and I’m oddly comforted by today’s devotional verse. 

Jacob experienced God and it ended something of the confidence that he had in himself. Right after this incident where God made him lame, he was tested big time. In that test, this man demonstrated humility instead of self-confidence, and God was glorified.

In the New Testament, a similar event happened to the Apostle Paul…

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7–10)

I don’t know what is coming next, but feeling physically weak has a way of making me more aware of spiritual weakness. I cannot function without the power of the Holy Spirit. Well or sick, confident or afraid, I need God all the time.

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