Last night God reminded that hope is never about “staying strong.” It’s about knowing that God is with us when we’re weak.
This is another verse I loved when I was sick (when you’re sick for years, you have a lot of time to rack up favorite verses!). It was probably one of the very first verses I ever memorized, not because I tried to remember it, but because I just couldn’t forget it.
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
When God healed me of illness, He didn’t just take disease away. He used the long process to heal me physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually in more ways than I can count. And I felt completely liberated every time I looked back and saw how far He brought me – every time I took a step without feeling pain, every time I slept through the night and didn’t wake up until it was morning, every time I got on a plane or took a road trip or sat down to dinner without wrestling between hunger and fear of what I’d feel like after I ate.
Seriously, healing is an amazing, amazing thing.
But somewhere between then and now, I forgot that just because God took disease away that does not mean I’m no longer in need of healing. And I forgot that I don’t have to show God that healing me was “worth it” by pushing myself to perfection in certain areas of my life or being disappointed in myself when I could’ve done better (in fact, over achieving was one of the very things God healed me of during the course of the illness).
Last night I was reminded that God doesn’t need me to be strong. He doesn’t need me to feel well all of the time just because He made me better. And He doesn’t need me to have all the dishes hand washed and put away, the cat bowls straightened up, the apartment as pretty as my favorite bloggers (though seriously – if anyone wants to help me with a digital redesign of the apartment, holla!).
He invested in me for the long haul, He’s totally prepared for the process, and He’s not stopping anytime soon.
But not only does He not need me to be strong. He reminded me that I’m never going to get to a place where I’m not in need of healing. I will always need healing from something, even if it’s momentary scrapes and bruises, even if it’s pride, even if it’s anger, or busyness, or whatever other thing that keeps me from knowing and sharing God’s love fully. As long as I’m on this side of heaven, I will need God’s healing work every single day.
I don’t want to forget that again. I want to remember that while He’s taken disease away, there is still so much work to be done. And His power is magnified when I’m open and honest with Him, myself, and others about my weaknesses.
p.s. I posted a new chili recipe that I just tried! It was delicious.