We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope…” 2 Cor. 1:8-10
Dear heavenly Father, this portion of Scripture is like a mercy-magnet to my soul—one to which I often turn when there are more messes left at the end of my day than strength; when stories of heartache seem to outnumber stories of redemption; when I have little left in my grace-tank, yet there’s many more miles before I reach home.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the haven of hope we find in the riches of your Word. If Paul occasionally felt overwhelmed by the frayed ends, unresolved conflicts, and “too-much-ness” of life, then I’ll not let myself fall into guilt or self-contempt, and I’ll cancel my plans for a big pity-party for one.
Father, I realize that days and stretches of feeling overwhelmed are actually good for me, though they feel pretty lousy. I honestly want to learn more and more about trusting in you—the God who raises the dead. Though my default mode is self-sufficiency and the illusion of control, I want my grace-mode to be to trust you with situations I cannot fix, wounds I cannot heal, and hearts I cannot change.
Unlike Paul, I’m not really facing deadly perils on the outside, just the smelly peril of not wanting to wait on you for longer than fifteen minutes, or rely on you with total abandonment. Deliver me from me. You have raised Jesus from the dead, and you remain the God of resurrection. With palms up, I surrender in gratitude and repent with humility. Please replace my self-reliance with Christ-reliance. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ worship-worthy and trust-worthy name.