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. 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 12:9-10 (NIV)
I was ten years old. My dad had asked me to do something I did not want to do. I had come to learn by this time that what my father told me to do was what I did. No questions asked. But this time he threw me a curve ball. He hadn't told me to do it; he had asked me to do it. And he was going to give me some time to agree or disagree with what he was asking.
I felt smug inside. I knew I was justified in my saying no to what he wanted me to do. I thought of all the legitimate reasons why I was not going to acquiesce to his wishes. A few hours later, I marched into the room where he was and spoke my piece. I thought I presented my side brilliantly. Besides, what he was asking me to do was beyond what I felt I was capable of. I confidently shared my heart and just knew that he would be won over by my careful and sound reasons for telling him I would not be doing what he had asked me to do.
He was quiet the entire time I was placing my brilliant argument before him. Then he said six words that shattered my whole defense.
"Will you do it for me?"
Girlfriends, this life with Jesus is hard--just plain, stinking hard sometimes. There have been times when I know I have every human reason to not cooperate with Him. The wrong has been done to me. I can think of a million reasons why I can withhold forgiveness or hang on to my bitterness. And then I hear Him quietly remind me:
"Shawn, how many times have I forgiven you? Do I hold against you what you have done against Me? How many times have you wronged Me?"
And I have stomped my foot as my well-thought-out arguments have crumpled to the floor around me. In the midst of my fuming, crying tantrum, I have heard Him quietly ask me:
"Will you do it for Me?"
Will I do it for the One who has saved me from hell and the wrath of God that I deserve? Will I do it for the One whose mercies to me are new every morning, even when I have sinned appallingly against Him the day before? Will I do it for the One who has promised me that the riches of heaven are mine? Will I do it for the One who not only asks me to forgive but gives me the grace to be able to do it? Will I do it for the One whose thoughts toward me are greater than the sands on the seashore?
Yes, Jesus. Yes. I cannot find the strength to obey You in myself, but through the grace You have given which triumphs over my weakness, I can always do it for You. I have been forgiven much. Let me love much. Not for the sake of others, but for Your sake.