Beloved in Christ,
Greetings from our God almighty for having illuminated our road to commence the construction of the church building. As you all know, it’s been a long process of struggle, prayer with patience and unity, which has finally brought us to sign the contract and commence the building of our dream church. As you all know, we, as a small emerging community, have been facing a lot of challenges- like having stable jobs, increasing household expenses, owning our own houses, good schooling for our children, and so on. Despite these limitations and struggles, God empowered us to buy one and a half acres of land within the vicinity of the city of Melbourne.
St. Paul in his second epistle to the Church in Corinth, shares his personal testimony which says “But he said to me, ‘My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” (2 Corinthians 12:9) In the text, St. Paul brings out his personal weakness, or “thorn” to God and asked for help to overcome it. Jesus replied, “My power is made perfect in weakness.” This highlights a few observations:
– God loves to use weak people, provided we should not deny, defend, hide or resent our weaknesses.
– God has a different perspective about your weaknesses. He says, “My thoughts and my ways are higher than yours.” So He often acts in ways that are the exact opposite of what we expect. We think that God only wants to use our strengths, but he also wants to use our weaknesses for His glory. The Bible says, God purposely choose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful.” (1 Cor.1:27)
Your weaknesses are not an accident. God deliberately allowed them in your life, for the purpose of demonstrating His power through you. A weakness or, “thorn”, as St. Paul called it, is not a sin, a vice, or a character defect that you can change- such as overeating or impatience. A weakness is any limitation that you inherit, or have no power to change. When you think of the limitations in your life, you may be tempted to concluded, “God could never use me”. But, God is never limited by our limitations. In fact, He enjoys putting His great power into ordinary containers. If you admit your weakness rather than living in denial or making excuses, God will use you as an instrument like St. Paul.
Therefore, St. Paul is content with his weaknesses. “I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses.” Contentment is an expression of faith in the goodness of God. It says, “God, I believe you love me and know what is best for me.” Paul gives us several reasons to be content with our inborn weaknesses. First, they cause us to depend on God. Referring to his own weakness, which God refused to take away, Paul said, “I am quite happy about ‘the thorn’,….. For when I am weak, then I am strong – the less I have, the more I depend on him.” Whenever you feel weak, God is reminding you to depend on him.
Our weaknesses also prevent arrogance. They keep us humble. God often attaches a major weakness to a major strength to keep our egos in check. A limitation can act as a governor to keep us from going too fast and running ahead of God. The great missionary Hudson Taylor said, “All God’s giants were weak people.” Moses’ weakness was his temper. It caused him to murder an Egyptian, strike the rock he was supposed to speak to, and break the tablets of the Ten Commandments. Yet God transformed Moses into the humblest man on earth.
Dear ones, as God has chosen us to build a Sanctuary of God to dwell and bless His children; are we reluctant to speak our weaknesses to God? Are we confident enough to admit our weaknesses to God? He has a different perspective of our weaknesses and we should prepare ourselves to stand wholeheartedly. Remember the things that you’re most embarrassed about, most ashamed of, and most reluctant to share. They are the very tools God can use most powerfully to heal others. Hence, examine ourselves- do not say excuses like: I’m jobless, given enough to my home parish, doing charity and supporting my parents in Kerala, not even have an own home. Submit our weaknesses to God and allow him to use you as his instrument. May the prayer of Saint George, our intercessor, St.Mary, Mother of God, prepare members spiritually in our parish- from far off and near to contribute generously to this rewarding cause and be blessed.
In His service