Friday, October 9, 2015

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

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Just a couple weeks ago we had a crazy Monday morning (as usual). I was stressed out, and as we jumped in the car to go to school, I felt immediate guilt that we were praying in the car and reciting a scripture verse on the fly because I hadn't been organized enough to fit it into our time-crunched morning. Fortunately, I had the Sunday School lesson still in my phone to share with the kids on our short, mile-long drive.  

We were studying 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:

"9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

I was trying to explain to my children what Paul meant in verse 10 about how things that are hard for us are meant to strengthen us in our faith and bring us closer to God. I told them that when we have a trial to face, it can be a blessing because the Lord makes us stronger through those difficult experiences. Then I recapped what I was saying and asked the kids, "So when we have problems, what do we want them to do for us?" Emmett immediately responded, "We want them to GO AWAY!"

I thought his 5-year old response was so cute, and so typical of what we all feel when we have things happen to us that are difficult. I knew that he was applying how he felt about his own little trials - like a bullying situation he had experienced on the playground - but in my parenting perspective I just thought, "Someday when he's older, he'll get what I mean."

Well, just yesterday, as a 31 year old kid seeking advice from my own dad, I found myself explaining the ins and outs of a legal battle my husband and I are in (coincidentally it's a bullying situation of sorts in a different arena, and on a much larger scale). When my father tried to show me a potential silver lining, I said to him - "The problem is that I don't care about any of that - all I really want is for this to all go away!!!"  

My mind immediately flashed back to Emmett talking to me from the back seat of the car that morning not too long ago.  

We've switched roles now. :)  

It's so ironic, that so often the lessons we're trying to teach our kids are the same lessons they teach us.

I'm grateful the Lord has sent me someone in my little family who will "side" with me. Even if he's in Kindergarten, I feel strengthened knowing that in the Lord's grace and mercy, I've been given a little angel who is on my side in feeling that trials should just "go away"! :) I'm also grateful to know that the Lord is steady, and kind. Jesus Christ knows that life is full of problems that don't immediately go away, and He is there to walk each and every step with us so that we don't have to face it alone. And while I side with Emmett, in my heart, I do also take sides with Paul. My mind reflects on all the most difficult moments I've faced over the years, even at the lowest of moments when I was the most devastated and scared - I have called on the Lord and IMMEDIATELY felt that He was there - it's a quiet strength that the Spirit brings, but it's every bit as strong as the opposing feelings that led me to my knees - in fact, it's a stronger feeling, because it carries me through my trials and helps me overcome them. 

I'm still working on the "taking pleasure in my infirmities" part of all of this, but I can still reiterate this lesson from Paul and join my testimony with his. I can testify of the way the Lord and His Holy Spirit carries us through our trials, and I know that "When I am weak, then I am strong."