The Lord’s response to Paul’s request to have his thorn removed is archetypal.
He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a)
That is a fantastic truth. We should share that on the Internet. Someone should print it in a sympathy card, probably using a gentle, italic font, and adorn it with a soft colored flower. It’s perfect, especially for Paul, and other people.
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9b-10)
How many of us don’t really want to be content, we want to be content in a Thomas Kinkade Christmas painting hanging on the wall of a set in a Hallmark Channel movie? It looks so calm, cozy, and probably chocolaty. The fire is delightful, and, if the kids are awake, they’re not stirring one another up to irritation.
But of course the first Christmas was God’s own experience of traveling away from home, of family being displaced, being uncomfortable. God was born in obscurity and weakness, to poor and tired parents.
Us, though, we’ve got big plans to be joyfully adoring Him, until you can’t find the wrapping paper where it was supposed to be, and the house is more messy than Walmart shelves two hours after Black Friday sales started. You wanted to host the extended family, but, not like this.
Christmas, and contentment, is harder than it looks. But God’s grace is sufficient, and He wants His power to be seen as the power of Christ rests upon us when we have problems.