I’ll never forget the day of my dad’s funeral. Never had I felt so depleted — physically, emotionally, or spiritually. And I was slated to deliver one of two eulogies in his honor. As the service progressed, I wasn’t entirely sure I’d be able to walk to the front of the church, much less deliver my remarks without the onslaught of tears that accompanied all my rehearsals.
At the time, I was awaiting my second back surgery, which I’d postponed for two weeks so I could travel to the service. I was barely able to stand or walk, except during occasional, short-lived reprieves from medication.
It seemed my turn to speak to the crowded church would never come. With each passing moment, the nerve pain in my left leg increased and I felt more and more unequipped for the task.
I was at the end of myself.
My 8-year-old son sat next to me on the hard wooden pew. I leaned over to him and whispered, “Mommy has to walk up to the front soon, and I don’t want to make a scene or have people know how much pain I’m in. I want to honor Grandpa, and keep the focus on him. I need to walk tall and be strong throughout my whole speech. I need you to pray for me from the moment I get up all the way until I get back to my seat. Can you do that for me?”
“I’ll pray Momma. I’ve got you, and so does God. You can do this.”
I quietly prayed the verses from 2 Corinthians 12:9 in my head.
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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
There was no doubt I was weak. But honestly, I wasn’t sure I would receive the answer to my prayer. I needed God to show up, in a mighty way.
Miraculously, I walked to and from the altar and delivered the eulogy without incident, or tears. No one knew the pain I was feeling or the emotional state I’d been in the last few days.
Afterwards, people praised the memorable and beautiful tribute to my dad. They told me how eloquent and strong I was.
I knew better. It wasn’t my strength or eloquence that caused them to take notice.
What they saw was God’s power on display in one of my greatest moments of emotional, physical, and spiritual weakness!
Those days and months surrounding my dad’s death and my surgery are etched in my memory as some of the lowest points of my life to date. But they are also imprinted on my heart as a testament to God’s faithfulness.
When you have a living experience with a Scripture, it changes you. I have seen God’s power at work in my broken, empty, and depleted state. Now I know what Paul meant when he said he would boast even more gladly in his weakness.
I will never look at those words the same again, because I’ve encountered them.
When we don’t think we can bear our circumstance any longer, God acts in our lives in such profound ways that we cannot help but see His glory. When we recognize that we are at the end of ourselves God delivers us in another powerful act of His amazing grace.
There is no doubt that His grace is sufficient. Therefore, I, too, will gladly boast.