It seems all of us have had someone say something that has made a lasting impact on our lives. It may have been a parent, a teacher, pastor, friend, a line in a movie, or something overheard from a total stranger.
"Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!"
Then there is Ephesians 4:29 –
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
Ouch. Not as touchy-feely as the live dog. If you can’t say something nice …
"God will never give you more than you handle."(Hold on … I’m still looking for the chapter/verse reference on this one …)
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1Corinthians 10:13-14)
"In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, 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." - 2Corinthians 12:7-9
But guess what? In the area of life where I made the bad decisions, I was weak. If I weren't weak, I would have used better judgment and not be in such a mess. I was told by someone years ago, “If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got." Trying to fix my weaknesses on my own would likely result in more poor decisions, and being stuck with no "out" in sight.
The ways God shows His grace in our lives are not always touchy-feely-warm-fuzzy-puppydog moments. Quite often they are very humbling and sometimes painful, especially in areas where we do not want to admit God has given us more than we can handle. By surrendering our weakness to God and asking for his help and letting God be the awesome God that he truly is, we can then attest to His power in our lives. We can say to those around us, "I was weak in this area of my life, and couldn't change it on my own. When I allowed Jesus into my life I gave my weakness over to him. It's through His power and grace that this area has changed my life for the better. And it couldn't have happened any other way."