Strength and Peace

Read 2 Corinthians 12: 2-10

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 begged God to make me well again.

Each time he said, "No. But I am with you; that is all you need." Now I am glad to boast about how weak I am; 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: 7-10 (TLB)

John Wesley "Wes" Sexton is from South Carolina. On Friday, July 28, 2017, Wes and his wife Lisa were shocked to hear his physician say, "I think you have ALS." Wes doesn't remember much after those words except for the moment he looked at Lisa's face and knew that their lives were changed forever.

Further testing confirmed that diagnosis: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a fatal disease with no known cure. On average, patients survive only 2-5 years after diagnosis.

It took weeks for the reality of their unknown future to set in. However, there was one thing Wes was certain about. God was with him and would continue working through him! After sharing their news with family, close friends, and their church, they received an outpouring of love through encouraging words, hugs, cards, and visits.

In addition to receiving love, it has been Wes's hope to share "a peace that surpasses all understanding" with others (Phil. 4:6-7). In line with Paul's words from today's reading, Wes tries to give his weaknesses to God so that the Lord can use them. When friends and family tell him that they are praying for him and their family, Wes simply replies, "Thank you" and adds, "God loves hearing your prayers!"

Prayer: Heavenly Father, when we face trials that seem insurmountable, thank you for your love, mercy, and unexplained peace, in Jesus' name. amen.

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