The Upper Room devotional reflection for Saturday, January 22, 2022 comes to us from Nelly García Gallardo of Mexico City, Mexico
1 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. 5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10 NIV
“God’s Grace is Sufficient”
I was in the waiting area being prepared for another surgery. Three other patients were brought in with me. As the nurse was preparing a patient named Raúl, he began to express to the nurse his anxiety about the procedure and the discomfort he had experienced the night before. As I overheard this short exchange, the words of the apostle Paul above came to my mind. While the nurse prepared my intravenous drip, I was able to chat with Raúl, sharing what I had learned through previous surgeries. I also shared some suggestions he might consider during his recuperation, adding that in spite of our suffering God offers hope.
After talking for a couple of minutes, we prayed together. As Raúl was wheeled into surgery, he appeared much more serene. I was also comforted, knowing that God was by my side and that what I had learned as a result of my previous surgeries opened the door to offer some help, perhaps even a blessing to someone else. When we place our full trust in Christ we are called by The Spirit to be open to help others wherever we are. We can live out our faith, confident in the knowledge that our Creator knows our every need and that God’s grace is sufficient.
Those moments when a person is particularly distressed can often provide opportunities for us to share God’s loving nature with others. The Spirit can move through us in ways that offer God’s grace, which according to Paul, “is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9a). I truly appreciate Nelly Garcia Gallardo’s reminder that God’s sufficient grace is always available to us and empowers each of us to be attentive to the needs of others around us. As Pastor Anthony always reminds us: “Each of you is a Blessing from God; now go and be a blessing to others.”
God of mercy, even in our weakness we remain confident that your grace is sufficient for us and we, in turn, can be attentive to the needs of others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
--Nelly García Gallardo
Nurses and Surgeons
Thought for the Day:
God’s grace is with us today and always.