Teachable Moments

By Rev. Dean Davenport, Senior Pastor
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 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. 10 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 12:8-10
Teachable moments. Do you remember those words as you were growing up? Do you remember your mom and dad or teachers telling you that even in difficult times, in trying circumstances - maybe even more so in times like that – you could learn something. They were teachable moments.

I remember several (actually, I’m sure it’s in the hundreds) but one in particular was painfully clear. Being associated with a person who had a proclivity for bad behavior had its consequences. I learned a major life lesson even though at the time it was hard to go through.
 
In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul writes of a difficult situation that he dealt with – a teachable moment for him and by extension for us. A faith life lesson to be sure. It didn’t make sense to him why he was having to deal with this “painful” thing. The way he thought (the way you and I think, too) it would be far better for him to be rid of it so that he could go on with his life free of encumbrances.

But God had other things in mind. In fact, according to God’s economy, it was better for Paul to face that painful reminder, day in and day out, than it was for him to be free from it. He learned to be humble as God allowed. He learned to rejoice in his weaknesses – because then God would use him in powerful ways. Otherwise, it was going to be all about Paul and not about God using Paul for His glory. Paul learned to rejoice and even boast in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.

I rejoice when things are good and problem free. I do cartwheels when things go as planned without any interruption. Maybe you do, too. If you do, you’ll realize that it’s hard for us to “see what there is to rejoice about”. In the face of weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities we are more apt to complain than we are to rejoice.

In this 2020 pandemic what are we learning individually as we face hardship and trials? What about as a congregation? I do believe that this is a teachable moment for us on a scale that we may not have seen in our lifetimes. We can complain and bemoan our current state of affairs (if confessions are in order I have spent some time there) or we can be humbled while we let God have His way with our lives and collectively with our Congregation.

Now is not the time to pray “God, deliver us from all of this stuff so we can get on with ministry”. Now is the time to pray “Heavenly Father, use all of this to shape us for ministry now, and in the post pandemic era to come. Open our eyes, ears, and hearts in service to You.  Amen”.

Teachable moments – absolutely!

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