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God's Grace Is Sufficient

This boasting is all so foolish, but let me go on. Let me tell about the visions I've had, and revelations from the Lord.

Fourteen years ago, I was taken up to heaven for a visit. Don't ask me whether my body was there or just my spirit, for I don't know; only God can answer that. But anyway, there I was in paradise, and heard things so astounding that they are beyond a man's power to describe or put in words (and anyway I am not allowed to tell them to others). That experience is something worth bragging about, but I am not going to do it. I am going to boast only about how weak I am and how great God is to use such weakness for his glory. I have plenty to boast about and would be no fool in doing it, but I don't want anyone to think more highly of me than he should from what he can actually see in my life and my message.

I will say this: because these experiences I had were so tremendous, God was afraid I might be puffed up by them; so I was given a physical condition which has been a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to hurt and bother me, and prick my pride. Three different times I bedded God to make me well again.

Each time he said, "No. But I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people." Now I am glad to be a living demonstration of Christ's power, instead of showing off my own power and abilities. Since I know it is all for Christ's good, I am quite happy about "the thorn," and about insults and hardships, persecutions and difficulties; for when I am weak, then I am strong - the less I have, the more I depend on him. 2 Corinthians 12: 1-10 (TLB)

Nelly Garcia Gallardo lives in Mexico City, Mexico. She was in the waiting area being prepared for another surgery. Three other patients were brought in with her. As the nurse was preparing a patient named Raul, he began to express to the nurse his anxiety about the procedure and the discomfort he had experienced the night before.

As Nelly overheard this short exchange, the words of the apostle Paul above came to her mind. While the nurse prepared Nelly's intravenous drip, she was able to chat with Raul, sharing what she has learned through previous surgeries. She also shared some suggestions he might consider during his recuperation, adding that in spite of their suffering God offers hope. After talking for a couple more minutes, they prayed together. As Raul was wheeled into surgery, he appeared much more serene.

Nelly was also comforted, knowing that God was by her side and that what she had learned as a result of her 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.

Prayer: 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.

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