The Upper Room devotional reflection for Friday, October 28, 2022, comes to us from K.D. Mecwan of Gujarat, India.
1 It is necessary to boast; nothing is to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. 3 And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows— 4 was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. 5 On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. 6 But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, 7 even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. 8 Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me,
9 but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10NIV
Since 2004, I have suffered from chronic pain due to an injury to my left leg. I have visited many doctors and tried various treatments and medications, but nothing has helped. I have difficulty walking due to my injury, and I often feel depressed and dejected. I wonder, Why and I suffering? My wife, Sushma, has prayed earnestly for my healing for several years. My family members and many other people are also praying for me. And I have prayed too, but with no change to my physical condition. However, as Paul writes, “[the Lord’s] grace is sufficient.”
I face many hardships due to my leg, but I can still get to work and do most of my routine tasks. Sometimes I am even able to forget my injury. I know these graces come from God’s goodness, and God’s mercies are new every morning (see Lamentations 3:23). Maladies can make us weak physically, but faith can make us strong. When we depend on the Lord, we find new strength. That God for the grace and strength we find in Christ.
Seasons of sickness and long-lasting pain have a way of challenging our faith like nothing else can do. We ask our friends and loved ones to lift us in prayer; hoping that their collective voices might encourage God to move on our behalf. Yet, when healing is slow to occur, if at all, we find ourselves filled with mixed emotions. We wonder if God is listening, if God cares about our pain, or if God is indifferent to our suffering? How do we hold on to faith when pain and disease become constant companions? K.D.’s reflection offers us a sobering reality, that sometimes our chronic pain and enduring illness don’t have a quick or easy solution. However, instead of giving in to despair, we can choose to wrap ourselves in God’s grace which will give us the strength to endure our pain, disease and hardship.
Merciful God, thank you for your strength and mercy which never fail us. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
-- K.D. Mecwan
People living with chronic pain.
Thought for the day:
God’s grace is sufficient for me.