Links Daily Devotional

How God Moves Us

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take [this thorn] away from me. (2 Corinthians 12:8, NIV)

Stacy Lewis, the top American in the women’s game entering this weekend’s U.S. Women’s Open, has not always had life so good. The 28-year-old came to success slowly because of significant compromises in her back.

Lewis has scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. In her teen years, doctors took firm measures to attempt to correct what was wrong. The most restricting of these was a hard plastic brace that Lewis wore for more than six years. While she was directed to wear it all day, every day, she was granted one arena of reprieve: the golf course. For this reason, Lewis spent as much time playing golf as she could and recently told Gold Digest, “If I’d had a healthy back, you might not have heard of Stacy Lewis.”

What’s your scoliosis? That is, what is the matter of great difficulty that God has set in your way in order that you might take the path that leads to his plan for you?

Maybe you’ve never thought of it this way. Most of us don’t. Most of us take one look at trouble and hightail it in the other direction. The more ascetic among us may hang in there, but we generally complain our way right through the process.

Paul famously wrote of “a thorn in the flesh, a messenger from the enemy” that annoyed him to no end. I mean that literally, for when he prayerfully went to the Lord and asked for relief, God told him only, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I must admit that I would have been inclined to say, “I’m sorry, Lord, but that just is not a satisfactory answer.” Paul instead turned God’s response to praise: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Sometimes we count on personal strength because we have convinced ourselves that this is the only way to get through a demanding situation. Paul came to the opposite conclusion. Trouble leads to God’s triumph in us, for it causes us to see what he is really doing in our lives: infusing his power into our weak state.

Jeff Hopper
June 28, 2013
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