Posted by: Jil Yong | July 31, 2011

2 Cor 12:7-10

“Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor 12:7-10

Its  a crazy thought that what, 8 months have gone by in the blink of an eye. In fact id dare to say that the last year has gone by in the blink of an eye. This time last year I was road tripping through Texas with two of my best friends, abandoned to the Lords providence. So this summer, has been much different than last. Anybody who worked or is working at the Pines can attest that it is one of the most emptying jobs ever. It takes everything you have and more. Its about giving and giving and giving until you have nothing left to give, but you still give. The Lord emptied me til I was dry, but not to make a shout out to water village but that analogy of a cup overflowing has never wrung truer. I realize now at the year that has passed since camp that this year has been a year of the Lord filling me with Him. The Lords call to “stop and receive” has definitely been loud and clear. Its not something I personally deal with easily. Humility has been something that in this period of stopping and receiving that the Lord has been teaching me. Ive learned about how many things I don’t have control over and how much the Lord bestows grace upon the weak. This week Ive had lots of time to relax and then catch up on some movies and one that stood out the most was Of Gods and Men, a film recommended to me by both my parents and a seminarian. This story follows the lives of 9 French Monks living in a predominantly muslim village in Algeria. These monks are posed with the option of leaving as civil war becomes more threatening or staying. Eventually, they decide to stay and 7 are later kidnapped and assassinated. Now, what does this have to do with anything? Well one of the lines that stuck out to me the most was this:

Weakness in itself is not a virtue but the expression of a fundamental reality which must constantly be refashioned by faith, hope and love. The strength of the Spirit is neither passivity nor resignation, it requires courage and incites to defend justice and truth and to denounce the temptation of force and power.

The reality is that we all have struggles, all have faults and all have crosses to bear. The reality also is that we must live to overcome these deficiencies, yet these are changed by the theological virtues. Our deficiencies become the doors to greatness, because through them we learn, and grow, and are strengthened. The way in which we breakthrough the threshold of weakness to greatness is nothing other than the strength of the Holy Spirit. We must realize our dependency on the Spirit, or in other words grow in humility, so that we might not be passive and let fear of sin or hell consume us, but rather take courage to claim the mercy, and goodness, and greatness which the Lord has granted us to live as worth and holy sons and daughters of the King.

Weakness is not something that we should try to eliminate in life, it keeps us humble, and is the tools that the Lord uses to show us His love. Id like to think that my weakness, in a way, is my love language with the Lord. Its through our brokenness that we are stretched. When we can no longer go anymore that the Lord carries us and works through us. I was just talking to a few friends about the tool analogy. We are all tools. Haha, not in that sense. Anyways, so we are all tools, but different tools. So where as I may be a hammer, one might be an axe, or a screw driver, maybe a drill, or scroll saw, a wrench, or a biscuit cutter, maybe some people are even the screws or nails, nuts or bolts. Whatever it is we each have our place in the Lords tool shed. Sometimes we are used often, maybe we spend lots of time on the shelf, maybe we might even spend so much time on the shelf that we think we have been forgotten, maybe we think we should be used all the time. Whatever it is, if we desire to be tools, which we should always desire, than we must come to the understanding that we have an irreplaceable purpose. No other tool can do the job of the screwdriver. But just because we are important and irreplaceable, doesn’t mean we should be used for every job. A screwdriver cannot do the job of a hammer. So, if we are to be good tools of the Lord, we must know when to be okay with sitting on the shelf and collecting dust. Now what this has to do with weakness…..here we go, so, a hammer struggles with screwing things in. But because it struggles and cannot do that, it is perfect for the job of driving in nails. You see! Our weaknesses become our strengths, the ways in which we are used! Weakness, though unfortunate when they lead to sin, are made new. The Lord makes all things new. Jesus had weaknesses, His human mortality, was a weakness. But if it were not for His humanity we would all be up a creek. You see Christ could’ve come as a solely divine being, but he took on the weakness of humanity, with all the temptations, all the frailties, all the limitations, so that we could live body and soul for eternity. His weakness was the pathway to greatness and the way in which He loved us most.

Mainly what I am trying to say is that nothing is too great for the Lord. Do not lose hope, do not let your faith waiver, do not close yourself off from loving and being loved, do not fear pain, but rather dream of greatness and believe in miracles, trust in Truth, let yourself be loved like there will be no hurt, and love until you cannot love anymore, and in that moment love even more, and finally live as if there were no pain because Our Lord is healer. In that pain Christ comes down into our souls, and we are caught in the intimate gaze of bride and the Bridegroom, were all is stripped away, and the Bridegroom looks upon His bride in all her vulnerability and imperfection and embraces her with a love so pure and ardent. In this embrace it is Love that conquers all and His seed is planted in our soul and named Holiness and eternal happiness.

  Totus Tuus Maria.

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church, of which I am a minister in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory.” Colossians 1:24-27

“Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5

 

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