I can remember it like it happened yesterday, and most of you know what I mean. I was officiating at my daughter’s wedding and asked myself, ‘How can this be?” Only yesterday, it seems, she was just a little girl? Most of us don’t take kindly to change, especially the change that moves loved ones out of a comfortable position in our lives. If you are like I am, you love your well-worn ruts and you want them to stay that way. Relationships make for the deepest and most comfortable ruts of all. There is a hurt that accompanies such a change, even though God planned for the changes that I experienced to kick in sooner or later. But some of those changes are not planned, like the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, or the change in a relationship through serious health problems.
It is at these points in our lives when we really begin to understand our vulnerability and our need for a tight grasp on the Divine hand. Our non-Christian friends sometimes remind us that faith in God is for weak people. I used to be offended at that. Not anymore. I think they are right. It is for weak people. Their serious error, however, is in assuming they are not weak. Weakness is a part of the human condition. Pity the person who has yet to discover that fact. It may come as a terrible blow, especially if he has never learned to lean upon the One who remains solidly intact while the ground breaks up under everything else.
The Apostle Paul experienced the terrible vulnerability of weakness. That great man of God who appeared to be the model of spiritual strength was visited by a “thorn in the flesh” so painful and debilitating that he cried out three times to God for its removal. It never happened. But lest you get the idea that God wasn’t paying attention, something even greater happened. He learned what it is like to truly be enveloped by the grace of God. He learned what God meant when He said, “My power is made perfect in weakness.” The result of this experience can be gleaned through Paul’s own words: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Change comes. Loved ones in our lives leave, run away or are forcefully removed. But God never leaves us. This universal promise and its experience is the glory of life and a major reason why every one of us needs a relationship with the “God of all comfort.”
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship