stories about life and God

the power of a tiny preposition.

2 corinthians 12:9 has been one of my favorite verses for a few years.
“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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

the part i constantly quote is “my power is made perfect in weakness.” the part about sufficient grace was nice, but i was more interested in my weakness making God look good. i used it all summer to remind myself that it’s okay to be weak because God uses weak people.
then at work today i was thinking about everything i wrote in my last post. and of course with my head full of the wonder that is this concept of grace, God’s grace being sufficient for me stuck out more today.
hermeneutics nerd that i am, i started making a mechanical layout in my head. basically what i just said there is, i did the Bible college version of diagramming sentences. it helps you understand a passage because it makes it easier to see how the thoughts relate to each other. it is SO much fun. and so helpful too. it’s really crazy how much you can learn about a verse just by seeing the words arranged differently.
in this case, i found that those two parts of the verse are inseparable. i wasn’t misquoting it by only talking about the power in weakness part, but i was definitely cheating myself out of the complete power of what paul is saying here.
look at this.

do you get it?
“for” here is like “in that”. if God’s power could not make up for your weakness, his grace would NOT be sufficient! but because of his grace, it IS okay that we’re weak and helpless.
so if it weren’t for the first part of the verse, my favorite part wouldn’t be true.
and now i just love the whole verse, even more than i already did.
isn’t that cool? now if you ever sit by me in church, and see me writing crazy things in my notes, you’ll get what i’m doing. =]

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