Maybe feeling powerless is kind of gift. The apostle Paul found that to be true. He had what he called a “thorn in his flesh.” Some suggest Paul was going slowly blind, but nobody knows for sure. What we are certain of is that Paul prayed for healing. Three times. And nothing changed. He continued to be afflicted. Powerless.

Imagine: being able to pray for healing of others and see it dramatically answered. Being as close to God as Paul was, yet finding your own prayers didn’t receive the answer you requested. Paul felt powerless. He felt trapped. And yet, Paul did hear God’s answer. It was that very powerlessness, even the pain, that gave Paul new insight into and appreciation for, God’s strength. Listen to his words:
Three different times I begged the Lord to take [the thorn in my flesh] away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor 12:8-10

When the workday ends, but the job isn’t done. When you’ve given it your all, but the problem isn’t solved, may never be solved. When you face situations and problems that outstrip your resources, power and abilities. In those hard times, turn to God, whose strength shines brightest when we are weak. Give God the work you have done. Leave what is unfinished, undone, and overwhelming in God’s hands. Then unplug and really let go.

As you begin each new day, ask for God to go ahead of you, to do what is beyond your power. Then simply do what you can. Do what’s in your power. And know that God’s strength works best in weakness. Which means God can shine so bright when we’re in a hard space, if we only allow it.

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