Friday, August 09, 2013
"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. - 2 Cor 12:9
Just prior to this declaration Paul has opened his life and heart to his readers in total vulnerability. He gives them the inside track on two polar opposite experiences in his life. A revelation and a thorn.
He had a revelation of God and heaven in a supernatural way. Not sure in his own mind how it all came together but it was so incredible that "he heard things that could not be told". He doesn't even make it clear that he was the man who experienced this incredible revelation of God.
But he also owns, personally, "the thorn" he has and chooses to share his weaknesses with his Corinthians friends. We have no real clue what the thorn was. But his prayers for it to be taken away had "FAILED" and he had come to realise that the reason that they had failed was that somewhere inside he had the tendency to become "CONCEITED".
So he plays down the fact that he has encountered a spiritual experience that virtually no one else ever has. And chooses to play up the awareness that his prayers have failed, he is stuck with a weakness and has a tendency to become conceited.
An incredible example of a revelation from one of the greatest leaders of our faith.
Somehow in today's information age I feel we would have heard a little more about the "heavenly" experience that the irritating "thorn".
Books would have been written, speaking tours would have been arranged, facebook pages would have been published and twitter would have been tweeting with 140 characters of the "things that could not be told". All to tell us about the man who went to heaven so we could marvel at how great he was and feel like they were somehow less of a christian.
Paul chose to write about his weaknesses so that generations of Christians to come would know that greatness rests with Jesus not his followers.
Making clear that hiding your weakness only hides them from the grace that is sufficient to make them irrelevant in the panorama of His power.