This verse from 2 Corinthians 12 is my selection for Verse of the Week! Why, you may wonder? Well, for me, it’s an important reminder that no matter what, God promises that His presence and power are sufficient to meet (and in some cases, exceed) any and all challenges that I may face.
For some of us, this verse is familiar, and we may cast an eye over it without really thinking about what it means. So, I have taken to my trusty dictionary (Merriam-Webster) to look up an important, but often overlooked word: “sufficient”:
Sufficient: Enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end.
Put another way, the Bible reminds us that God’s favor, lovingkindness, and mere presence are enough to see us through the particular circumstance that we are facing at the time, and propel us into greater intimacy with Him.
Sufficiency isn’t “more than” or “less than”; rather, it’s a precise measure – just the exact amount needed for the given moment. And I suppose that’s enough, when you think about it.
So “sufficient” doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll have all that I need all the time, or that God even guarantees that a particular desire will be accomplished in my life (altough He often kindly grants me these requests, too); rather, His grace simply means that we have all that we’ll ever need to persevere through the circumstances.
I think that this quote by Thomas Adams says it all, no?
Let’s remember that He who causes the storm (or allows it) is also willing and able to guide us through it. He gives us just enough grace to make it through today, but also cautions us against getting too far ahead of ourselves by trying to anticipate the cares that tomorrow may bring.
The storm may unnerve us at times, but we will get through it, and the Lord has promised the show us the way. I suppose that if we could navigate our way through the inclement weather all by ourselves, then it wouldn’t really be a storm, now would it? No, it would just be a cloudy day, but certainly not a storm. And we can handle the grey days all on our own, right?
Or can we?
I live in California, so you’ll have to bear with me here. We don’t get too many proper storms out here. A few drops of rain in the winter months and the meteorologists are announcing the arrival of “stormwatch,” and warning everyone to drive safely, carry their umbrellas, and put away their sleeveless tops until the springtime. And most of us – because we are so unaccustomed to rain and cold – have grown comfortable and content in the ideal weather that we enjoy for 300+ days of the year.
I wonder if there are some parallels in our own walk of faith. Have we grown so accustomed to the “spiritual sunshine” that we are completely outdone when some rain and winds appear? We lament, wondering “why this rain, and why now?”
Well, without rain, there would be no growth; and without the wind and gales, how would the seeds travel and grow in new places? I suppose that what is true of the seed is also true of the soul, when you stop and think about it.
Either way, His grace is still sufficient! So hang in there, my friend – the storm will eventually end, and you will be powerfully changed because of the experience.