I’ve done many things I thought I couldn’t do. I’ve birthed nine babies and survived all the days of small ones. I’ve been up through the night with a sick child. I’ve been terrified of new things and overwhelmed by having too much to do. I’ve wept with heartache and sorrowed deep. I’ve walked with my daughter through cancer treatment.
But there was always rescue, always a window of relief. There was always grace for the moments, always hope.
Is there grace for this?
Is there grace for cancer? For cancer that isn’t going away? Grace for this level of pain? Grace for a mama’s deepest sorrow? Grace for suffering? For watching the suffering of your dear one?
I know there is grace for living. I have received grace in mothering, strength for each day. I have seen a glimpse of joy even in the hardest moments of life. I have been strengthened when weak and lifted when falling. I have breathed deeply and gratefully when a crisis has passed.
And still I wonder. Is there grace for this?
Because if faith means anything, it must mean grace for the things we cannot do. It must mean grace for the impossible. It must mean amazing grace, God-given grace, infinite and matchless grace.
It must mean grace for the hardest thing.
After six days in the hospital at Duke, Marissa is struggling to get back to a semblance of normal. Her lung function is compromised, so the whirr of the oxygen tank is a constant companion. With multiple liver lesions and malignant fluid in her chest cavity, she is always uncomfortable and often in pain. Before she was sick from the treatment for cancer, but now for the first time, she is sick from the cancer. She finally was able to start the trial drug one week ago, so now we wait. If it works against her cancer, she may gain a reprieve. If not, the cancer is growing every day.
If not, we face one of the hardest things.
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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Content with weakness? Content with hardship and calamity?
Yes, for the sake of Christ and so that His power will rest on us.
We are desperate for that power. The amazing truth is we are not abandoned in our weakness; we are made strong. We are not forsaken in the midst of calamity; we are blanketed by the greatest power. We have been invited into His fellowship of suffering, and we can let His power rest on us.
And when we are in a place where we feel we can’t go on? When we are trembling in our weakness? When our calamity is the deepest sadness of the heart?
He meets us there with strong and perfect grace.
Grace that is sufficient. Enough. Enough for the hardest thing.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16