“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV)
The pandemic has been extraordinary to us in many aspects. In my tiny little world, it has been by far the busiest professionally, given all the work pivoting to online information literacy teaching and reference support. Living by myself, I sometimes struggle with the feeling of isolation, while having to deal with a new chronic pain condition. Life has not been very easy. I remember praying to the Lord for the strength and wisdom I needed to go through each day.
The pain has been a humbling experience, as I would have trouble with a basic sitting posture and wake up from pain in the middle of the night. I remember having to sit at my desk to deliver online synchronous information literacy sessions while enduring the pain that drained me and distracted me from processing my own teaching materials. “Lord, help me to get through this. Remove the distractions and give me the clarity to present the content.” He did just that. When I could not sleep three nights in a row from the pain and anxiety, I prayed for the healing and comfort from the Lord. He gave me the rest I needed, and He assured me that His grace was sufficient for me and that His strength was made perfect in my weaknesses. “Qinqin, you are weak, but I am strong. I am your Lord. Just rest in Me.” What a firm assurance with comforting words from the High King of Heaven Himself. When He says that His grace is sufficient, that means that no matter what circumstances I might find myself in, He will take care of me. He is more than enough. In my weaknesses, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, His strength can be made perfect. It is manifested through my circumstances only if I completely rely on Him and take rest in His presence and truth. Therefore, I can gladly say as Paul did, that “I will rather boast in my infirmities and weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
By the end of this past academic year, I was amazed by the number of synchronous teaching sessions and recorded video lectures I was able to complete and the positive feedback I received from faculty and students. I was also blessed by new friendships I made with students via one-on-one research consultations on Zoom. It was all possible only by His grace, a vivid demonstration of His faithfulness.
As I reflected on this past year or so, I realized my little trial was really His blessing in disguise. Had I not gone through those challenges, I would not have realized my limitations and earnestly come before the Lord for help and strength. I would also have missed experiencing His closeness in times of trouble and the realities that His strength is made perfect in my weaknesses. What a genuine token of His sustaining grace from above!
I do not know what you have been going through and how long your current struggles might last, but I do know that the Lord has something precious to show every one of us in uncertain times. He wants to show us Himself as we draw close to Him to appropriate His grace, strength, and everything we would need to get through this and beyond victoriously. Only as we come before Him can we know His infinite abundance in Christ Jesus our Lord. His grace is always sufficient for you.
Qinqin is the Reference Librarian at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. She has been an ACL member for 5 years.