My parents’ news reached me amidst other issues I found difficult to deal with. A friend received bad news about her custody battle to keep her two toddlers living with her. Another friend’s struggle with depression seemed unending. On the news, I felt saddened by reports from the US of race tensions, the police shooting of two black men and the killing of five police officers in retaliation. In Iraq, the deadliest single car bombing since the 2003 Iraq war killed nearly 300 people.
I don’t understand why some things don’t seem to get better despite our best efforts. My first reaction to my parents’ news was disbelief, because I thought I had done everything possible for them. Almost straightaway in response I could feel God assuring me of His love and faithfulness. I was reminded of the times when I felt devastated, powerless and lost, and how God saw me through. Walking through Newcastle the next day, the strains from a busker’s song felt like a comforting message from God– “For when I am weak, then I am strong….”
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). This assurance from God led Paul to declare that “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). In our darkest moments, lies the opportunity for us to give up our struggling, and the potential for us to discover God’s perfect love.
What fills you with sadness and dread? In Joyce Rupp’s book, May I Have This Dance, she suggests some long-lasting inner struggles which make us feel dead inside, like we’ve “run out of gas”: the struggle to believe in our own goodness; being in the dark inner-world of depression; experiencing failure in relationships or work situations; feeling rejected, deserted, betrayed or abandoned; saying farewell to a loved one; losing hope and living with constant worry and anxiety.
I’m looking forward to Pride. The sad and troubling times we live in make it all the more important for us to stand-up and celebrate who we are – the expression and embodiment of God’s perfect love. Whatever struggle we may feel we are in a ‘losing battle with’, does not change the fact that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14), and that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.