Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Not too long ago I shared with a friend how God had given me a new appreciation for 2 Corinthians 12:9 ("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"). That new understanding came by way of a Satanic attack that caused my husband to become anxious, angry, and sullen, and which brought me to a point where I felt as if my sympathy had run dry.

It was at that moment -- when my mind was filled with unloving thoughts toward my spouse -- that the Holy Spirit revealed to me just what it means to have God's power perfected in my weakness. Because I was so desperate for His peace and direction, when I heard His gentle voice whisper, "Pray," I didn't hesitate but immediately repented of my sinful thoughts and admitted that I couldn't overcome the resentment in my heart. The Spirit's voice immediately grew louder and I was instilled with a wave of powerful, godly love toward my husband as well as a desire to show him mercy through the simple act of a gentle word and a smile.

That act of mercy was the turning point. Over the next few days my husband and I were unified in our prayers and our time spent in the Word, and we overcame the attack. Thankful to put the situation behind us and sure that things would be calm for a bit while I reveled in my new insight, I was surprised to find out that God had other plans.

The past seven days have been physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting: a "simple" switch of Web hosts for the church ended up in shambles; my nine-year-old daughter's tendency toward the dramatic went into overdrive more than once (more than a half-dozen times, in fact); efforts to provide local families-in-need with a Thanksgiving meal went awry; I (once again) caused my daughter to break out in hives by inadvertently feeding her food made with pea flour; my computer, for no apparent reason, decided to stop working; and to top it off, two of my chickens suddenly and very mysteriously stopped laying eggs!

On more than one occasion over the past week I have been tempted to forget what God had just taught me about His strength in my weakness---and more than once I came very close to the edge of that dangerous cliff. Thankfully, however, He is faithful and His Spirit never once stopped whispering to me, "My power rests on you." Now that this difficult period seems to have come to an end, I can look back and see that God allowed me to have one of the most troublesome weeks of my life so that, through each and every trial, I would fall back into His arms and be reminded of His perfect strength.

-Trish Gerstel

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