I am a restless sleeper. Always have been. As I get older it has gotten worse, I seem to be awake more than asleep at night. Like many others, when I wake at night it doesn’t take long for mind to start turning. To Do Lists. Worries. What Ifs. The more I think, the more I stay awake. There are times when I have to literally will myself not to think. I pray. Sing songs to myself. Recite scripture. Drink milk. Count sheep. Anything to go back to sleep.
A few nights ago when I awoke, I had a different experience. Almost as soon as my eyes opened, the first thought was “My grace is sufficient.” Now, I know that wasn’t my thought, but a prompting from God. Why? Because unfortunately, my first thoughts aren’t automatically spiritual in the middle of the night. They go everywhere else and then turn spiritual when I am desperate for sleep.
“My grace is sufficient.” That was my first thought. Then, the very next thought was a question, “Hasn’t my grace always been sufficient?” It was as if God himself was reminding me that indeed His grace has been sufficient. As I look back over my life, I have seen his hand time and time again work through frustrations and trials. He has worked through the very things I didn’t think I could get through. And, he has worked them for good.
The next morning l wanted to find the exact scripture because my brain couldn’t recall the address. With some google help, (don’t you love google?) right there in 2 Corinthians is the verse we have heard so many times:
He said :”My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
But, listen to the Amplified version:
“but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.”
Paul goes on to write “Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.”
Many times I have read that verse. The difference in then and now is that usually I read it when I am in the middle of a trial. I read it and it says God’s grace is sufficient and his power is shown best in my weakness. However, in the middle of a trial, I can’t always feel God’s grace or sense his power. At times it is like a fog descends on me and I can’t see clearly. Often, that verse has left me with more questions than answers. But, this time, rather than look at my current circumstances or looking ahead wondering what if, God moved to me to look back and remember. Remember all the times that he has walked with me in the flood, stood beside me in the fire, carried me when I couldn’t even crawl. He has shown his power over and over again in my weakness.
Yes, I can say that His grace has always been sufficient. There has never been a time that He has left me. And, it is with that truth that came so clearly in the middle of the night that has given me a new sense of peace.
When I look back, when I remember, my thoughts often land on my mistakes or difficulties, but what if I began to look back and remember all God has done. Then, I could walk confidently today and everyday knowing that even on my weakest days, his power has been and is still working and his grace will always be enough.
“For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift.” John 1:16 AMPC