Heard at Café: 10/3/2017

Last night we had the pleasure of hearing from three of the Café interns: Jake, Eric, and Macy.

We started by discussing various kinds of weakness. Whether they're funny (being too weak to climb "hills"), embarrassing (throwing up at track practice after eating an entire pizza), or more serious (struggles, injuries, etc.), the concept of weakness is present in all of our lives.

Paul, one of the very first Christians, wrote about this idea to some friends of his and said the following:
2 Corinthians 12:6-10 (NIV)
Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from 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 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.
Paul had every reason to boast: he was a hard-worker, a devout follower of Jesus, and was well-respected by his peers. But Paul also understood that God's power was so much greater than anything he could do on his own. He begged God (multiple times, too) to take away his "thorn", and his prayers were not answered how he had hoped. Instead God responded with, "My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness." Paul knew that having his "weakness", though he clearly didn't want it, only helped him show others that it was Jesus working through him since he couldn't do everything by himself.

In all of the tough things that Paul had to endure, he was quick to point out that it only helped him grow closer to God and understand Christ's power. This helps us keep in mind that ultimately our gifts and willpower and strengths come from God, and that we can only do so much on our own. We all have weaknesses, but it's reassuring to know that God is working through them.

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