God continually reminds us that in our weakness He is great and mighty. The Apostle Paul declared after struggling with his thorn in the flesh, "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (2 Cor. 12:9).
This past week these realities have become much more clear to me as God's strength continues to be sufficient. First, I fell down the stairs last Sunday, bruising my ribs and leaving me with a week of great pain. Then after an MRI on Monday and an appointment with an orthopedic doctor on Thursday (both scheduled before my fall), I learned that the pain I've been suffering in my back for the last three years is the result of herneation and degeneration of the disks in my back and a defect in my lower spine I never knew I had called a Pars Defect -- caused by an injury in my childhood or early teens leading to my spine not properly fusing. Bottom line is back pain will be a "thorn in the flesh" that I will continue to have. But physical weakness is a good thing! First, it keeps us looking to our true source of strength. We must never become confident in our personal strength or ability. We are infinitely weak and always in great need of God's grace. Second, our physical infirmities stand as a continual reminder of our fallen condition. Sin has left all of us weak and frail and in need of God's continual grace and mercy. Third, whatever infirmity we suffer in this life is a great reminder of how gracious and merciful God is in not giving us the full measure of what we deserve. We all deserve torment of endless and infinite measure. Praise God for His mercy through Christ Jesus our Lord! Fourth, our infirmities remind us to be more thankful for the days we are strong; to appreciate the things we often take for granted. I must admit I've never given thanks for the ability to mow the grass. After watching my wife mow the lawn last week I'll never take that for granted again. Fifth, our earthly infirmities make us long more and more for eternity when all things will be made new. We must never become too comfortable in this life which is but a vapor.
And so as we all age and grow weaker and weaker in the flesh, may God grant us to look more and more to His strength and may we grow nearer and nearer to Him. Oh God, use whatever means necessary to make me more holy and conform me more and more to the perfect likeness of Christ.