Today's story comes from Cammie McQuilkin, serving in university campus ministry in Salerno, Italy.
Each day I get the blessing of seeing God work through my limitations as I continue to do ministry here in Salerno. I also see him working in those around me. He is using what seem like limited circumstances and situations to draw people to himself. The university students whom my team and I work with are a majority atheists or agnostics. While attending University they are facing problems that they have never had before, which can cause great anxiety and stress. One student who I met when I first arrived in Salerno 5 months ago, who wanted nothing to do with God and was very hard to the Gospel, was facing some problems with preparing for a study abroad trip, and having anxiety about the future. As we talked about her problems and fears, I was able to share how God provided for me peace and comfort to get through these similar situations. She stated that it was nice that I was able to have a peace about stressful situations, and that I can trust Jesus with my troubles. Even the acknowledgment that Jesus could be a source of comfort shows that God has been working in her heart.
I was able to share that I am limited in controlling how things will work out, but I can have peace because I trust Jesus to provide for me in my everyday needs because I have trusted him with my eternal salvation. Through my stressful situations and weaknesses, my friend is seeing Jesus for who he is as a sovereign king, who is in control, and is a good dad who provides for his children. He does not waste anything, though at times we don't understand the purpose of stressful situations or having to function in our weakness. He has a purpose and a plan that is ultimately for his glory and our good.
I have been reflecting on what God has been teaching me, and I have realized that I have been learning the same lesson: how to be weak. God has shown me that I idolize my strengths, which sets my focus on making my glory known, instead of his. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul had received the thorn in his flesh, saw his limitations, and prayed for it to go away, but the Lord told him that “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." God did not take away his weakness, but used it for his glory.