I just started reading my new copy of Dave Black's newly re-released book Paul, Apostle of Weakness and it is good stuff. Likewise I read a wonderful story today by Robert Martin at The Abnornmal Anabaptist regarding his wife and her thanking God for her cancer, Boasting In Weakness. Robert writes..
So, when we are weak, that is when God shines through the most. Our
clay jars show off the treasure of God’s love so much more because they
allow the treasure to shine without distraction. When we live depending
totally on him, we cannot help but put God first.
Thank God for cancer. I can say it and mean it. This is not
someplace I got on my own, it is only by God’s Spirit I can say this. I
pray only that somehow, someway, the pain and weakness that Heather,
Andrew, myself, and others deal with in our journey can point that much
more clearly to God and to what Jesus has done in our lives.
Like Dave and Robert my wife too has had her own journey with cancer. While hers is not life threatening it is still cancer and over the last few months, while preparing for her scan to determine how much regrowth there has been, she has been off of her thyroid replacement medication which makes even the simplest task an insurmountable barrier and slows down the thinking process to a crawl. We received wonderful news when the doctor reported a clear scan which meant no further treatment would be required. Praise God! Yet we would have praised Him all the same if the result had been less favorable. We can do that because we know that He is always in control and the more we yield ourselves to Him, the more He lifts us up.
If only the church would heed the words of Paul and stop seeking worldly power and security. After all, as counter-intuitive as it seems, we are at our strongest when we are our weakest.
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:7-10)