Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Grace Is Sufficient...

Sometimes we find ourselves in prison. Whether an emotional, mental, or even physical cell, they are all the same. At times the prison is of our own doing and sometimes, we are in prison because of the actions or decisions of someone else. Regardless of how we get there, being in prison is one of the most devastating places to be. You feel like a slave to your surroundings and at times there is no hope of liberation. Yesterday in our staff devotions we were blessed to have Pastor Bob Shank visit and teach on the life of Joseph. It is a story that I never tire of hearing. Joseph is an enigma to me, in that, no matter what lot he was handed in life, he took it gratefully, thanked God continually for it, did his best at it, and God was always with him.

Joseph had multiple prisons and sometimes we know how that feels. It’s not just one thing that holds us captive, its multiple things threatening to tear us down and drag us under. Joseph was imprisoned by his dreams that no one else believed, he was imprisoned physically, sold as a slave to Egyptians into Potiphar’s house. He was imprisoned by lies from Potiphar’s wife and then confined to an actual prison cell. I can’t help but think that I would also have felt emotionally incarcerated being hated by all my brothers, being kicked at every turn, and never being able to direct my own path. But Joseph didn’t have that baggage because he knew that though his path was not his own, it was being directed by a God who is faithful and who always remembers His promises to His children.

Sometimes when we are in prison, we can feel like God has forgotten us, like we are there alone in the pit of darkness. But God reminds us that He hasn’t forgotten us, He never would. Heaven reaches down to us and He is there, just as He was in Acts 23:11 with Paul, “But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul…” Nothing can keep us apart from Jesus Christ, as it says in Romans 8:35, 38-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?.......For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Nothing can separate us from Christ’s love and protection or from God’s plan for our life.

Joseph prospered, and repeatedly throughout his story we read “the Lord was with Joseph”. God is always with us and even when we feel like we are perishing and begging God for release, He gently reminds us “Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). God’s grace washes over us and can sustain us in any season of life. It can raise us from the dark pits of despair and carry us on wings like eagles. It is the rock on which we can stand and not waiver, because truly He is our God who never waivers.

I think Joseph knew this in His heart and that’s why he was able to succeed, even when there seemed no deliverance in sight. Joseph not only bloomed in the desert as his father’s favorite, he bloomed in the depths of a dark prison cell, surrounded by lies and by people who wanted to keep him there. He bloomed because when we truly realize that God’s grace is enough and that we are covered in His love, it’s like the prison door swings wide open and we are free.

Jesus, thank You that even when I feel alone and imprisoned, You are there with me. Your grace is sufficient for me, and Your love is so strong that it can swing wide even the heaviest and threatening prison door, and I am free.



Nichol Naranjo said...

Praise God for our freedom!!
This is such a beautiful post Misty!

Tammy said...

When we are in prison and our light still shines for God, Than we are truley His children. I pray my light shines for Jesus. Thank you Misty for your words of wisdom.