January 6, 2020
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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.
Mother Teresa devoted her life to loving the sick, the poor, and the dying in the slums of Calcutta, India. In 1979 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2003 she was beatified by the Catholic Church. With those kind of accolades, it’s easy to think of her as existing in a category by herself: beyond doubt, beyond discouragement. But Mother Teresa’s private diaries tell a different story. She wrote, “I am told God lives in me—and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.”
That sounds a little like Job, doesn’t it?
Even Jesus said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When Jesus was on the cross, he felt farthest from the heavenly Father, yet that is when He was closest to accomplishing God’s purposes. We shouldn’t be deceived. When it seems as if God is letting us down, He is setting us up for something that may be beyond our ability to comprehend at the present moment.
I don’t know if this is heartening or disheartening; maybe it’s a little bit of both. If Mother Teresa wasn’t immune to dark nights of the soul, we probably won’t be either. Since Jesus had moments when the Father felt distant, we probably will too. May I offer a reminder? Faith isn’t flying above the storm; it’s weathering the storm. It’s trusting God’s heart even when we can’t see His hand. It’s understanding that sometimes the obstacle is the way!
If you want to know where God will use you, you need look no further than your pain. We help others in the places where we’ve been hurt. Our trials become our platforms. And our weakness is actually our strength because that’s where God’s power is made perfect.
Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. NCC also owns and operates Ebenezers Coffeehouse, The Miracle Theatre, and the DC Dream Center. Mark holds a doctor of ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of 17 books, including The Circle Maker, Chase the Lion, and Whisper. Mark and his wife, Lora, have three children and live on Capitol Hill.