There’s a space between who you are and who you are becoming … God dwells in that space. As you become more like who you were created to be, you get to experience more and more of that space which God fills. His presence is felt every time you lean into his desires for you. His guidance is received every time you step further into his good plans for you.
Now when you step out of this space and venture off into wayward territory, away from your divine design, you feel a disconnect. You feel a deep void of purpose. A lack of passion. A numb monotony where every day becomes the same and seems rather pointless. Haven’t we all felt this? Haven’t we all wandered out of the space God has filled for us and found ourselves in this emptiness? Sure we have.
Humans are like sheep. Sheep wander and take flying leaps into dangerous pits they can’t get themselves out of. There’s a video that makes me giggle every time I see it. A sheep is stuck in a deep ditch, with only it’s feet sticking straight up. Two people fight to rescue the sheep, set it back up on it’s feet. The sheep shakes itself off and joyfully takes 3 leaps as if to yell “freeeeee-dommmmm”, and proceeds to dive head-first into the same ditch from which it was just rescued.
This is exactly why Jesus referred to us as his sheep. He is our good, good Shepherd, and we continually need him, by great design. Me, head-first dive into a ditch. Jesus, my rescuer. Over and over again.
Now, have you ever thought of this … if God dwells in the space between who you are and who you are becoming, but you’ve wandered off the right path, the moment you turn back and take the next right step, you are automatically back to becoming who you were created to be and BOOM that’s the space where you find God! Drastic changes are not required to be in God’s presence. It’s an ever so slight, intentional return to him. A turn from what you were doing in your own power, to seeking his power to do what is right. A silent prayer whispered in a moment of surrender, “God, what do I do next?”
This is the space filled by God. If you’ve been out of it for a while, welcome back Sis. The journey continues now towards becoming all you were created to be!
Will you be perfect now? No. Will the journey be easy here? No. Will everything suddenly make sense? No. But here’s what we know … You will be covered in God’s grace, and his grace is sufficient for you.
Where have we heard those words before? “My grace is sufficient for you” was spoken to Paul in his space of becoming.
Now, remember, Paul wasn’t always Paul. He wasn’t always a man covered by sufficient grace. His past is dark. Before he ever became Paul, he was Saul, persecutor of Christians. Literally a man on a mission to eliminate the followers of Christ. He was not living the life he was created to live and therefore he lacked God’s presence in his life. In Acts 9, he was stopped in his tracks by a bright light and the voice of Jesus. He lost his sight that day and he was blind for 3 days. When his sight returned, he stepped into the plans God had for him, and he became Paul.
Paul was continually becoming more and more of who he was created to be. And in this space, he was surrounded by God’s presence and God’s power. But this space wasn’t perfect, in fact, this space was continually bothered by a problem. Paul referred to his problem as a thorn in his side.
Now, we’re not told exactly what this “thorn” was, and perhaps that is by great design so we can relate to our own thorns. You know, that problem you just can’t seem to shake. That thing that won’t go away. Paul asked God to remove his thorn and free him of this problem. Three times he pleaded with God, but it did not happen.
Sometimes God says no. Sometimes we ask and in his omnipotence, he says no. He has the power to answer yes, but he is aware of that which we do not know and could not understand, so sometimes he says no.
What do you do when God says no? What do you do when you’re left with a thorn that won’t be taken from you? What do you do when the problem is there to stay? You do what Paul did, you listen for God.
Paul asked 3 times, then he listened. When he listened, this is what happened, 2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you.”
God’s grace was sufficient for Paul. Grace, that’s God’s intentional choice to bless even when we are undeserving. God’s deliberate kindness and favor that fully redeems us and makes us righteous. God’s grace is sufficient! His deliberate favor was sufficient over the thorn. God’s intentional blessing was sufficient even with the thorn. The problem wouldn’t go away, but God’s grace was sufficient anyway.
And maybe your problem isn’t going away, my friend. Maybe the thorn is there to stay. Go ahead and ask. Ask for it to be removed, but after you ask, listen. Is God saying to you “my girl, my grace is sufficient for you. What I’ve given you is enough for you to continue on towards the life I have created you for. I will provide everything you need for your next step in this space of becoming, and I will make it possible even if your problem remains.”
Sometimes we wait until the problem is solved. Until the obstacle is removed. Oh yeah, we’re waiting for things to get better. For things to be more certain. For it to be a little easier. But what if God is saying “No girl, MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU RIGHT NOW, LET’S GO!”
Paul’s request to remove his problem was a noble request. He thought he could better fulfill his purpose without that thorn. But God knew his power was made perfect when Paul still had a little problem.
Honey, this problem you’re facing may never be fixed. So are you going to spend the rest of your life waiting? Are you going to waste another day hoping things will change as you wait? Or will you accept what is and receive sufficient grace here?
When God says “my grace is sufficient for you”, understand what he is saying. Sufficient means adequate for it’s purpose. God’s grace, that’s his intentional choice to bless you even when you are undeserving, his deliberate favor and kindness that redeems you and makes you righteous, it is completely adequate for it’s purpose in you. It’s adequate for YOUR purpose. Yes, the purpose for which you were created, God’s grace is completely adequate for exactly that.
Adequate means it is just the right amount. Oh to think, God’s grace is just the right amount for you today, right where you are as you decide to take the next step within this space of who you’re becoming.
The grace you need today is a different amount than the grace you needed yesterday, and that’s exactly what God has for you here. What I need is different than what you need, and God has a perfectly measured amount of his grace for my purpose here.
So, if the problem is still here … If you’re still struggling with the same thing you’ve struggled with for a long time … Maybe this isn’t here to stop you. Maybe this is here to help you see the perfectly measured amount of grace God has intentionally for you. And maybe, like Paul, that thorn is for a greater purpose than you understand, and you’re supposed to continue on with it to experience God’s perfect power in it’s continued presence.
YES, that’s it. When the problem remains, experience God’s perfect power even in it’s continued presence.
Paul’s thorn was never removed, he just received grace to continue with it. And God’s grace is sufficient. It is the perfectly measured amount for it’s purpose. You too have all that is required to continue now. Today, take the next step into the space of your becoming. That space is filled by God!
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