Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
Just next week many of us will celebrate Thanksgiving, but for some we will celebrate it alone or just the people under our roof. How can we celebrate God’s blessing without everyone we use to have sitting around the dinner table? Or how can we sing the hymn "Now Thank We All Our God" or "For the Beauty of the Earth" when we do not have in-person worship?
I would echo with Paul when he wrote what God told him in his complaints and his own response to God. Life is not always perfect as we desire, but it depends how we view it. We can look at life as a half-cup full or half-cup emptied. God challenged Paul to look at life, especially in difficult times, as a half-cup full: "'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me."
Paul was able to boast in his hardship, perhaps be thankful, as he said, "whenever I am weak, then I am strong." Paul resolved to be content in what he had and not what he did not have or wanted. What can we resolve to celebrate Thanksgiving in this pandemic time? Perhaps, like Paul, we can look at life in a more positive way, counting our blessings, not our lack or desire of it, and be thankful.
Lord, I am blessed every day, and every moment and every breath in my life. I give you thanks for what I have and all that you have provided. All that I have and all that I am, all belong to you and are gifts from you. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.