July 5, 2017
2 Corinthians 12:9 - But He (Jesus) 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.
In our July Fourth devotion we touched upon about how it is right for our nation to give credit to the Lord for its many blessings. That truth happens to be applicable for individuals as well as nations.
Let me explain with a story: this time from the other side of the Atlantic, off the coast of Plymouth, England. Over 200 years ago, a lighthouse was built to warn ships of the dangerous reefs that are just offshore. The architect of the lighthouse was a fellow by the name of Winstanley. Yes, that's his name: Winstanley.
To tell the truth, Mr. Winstanley had many wonderful attributes, but modesty was not on that list.
Indeed, Mr. Winstanley was so sure of his ability as an architect and so confident of his lighthouse design, he had these words of challenge carved on the cornerstone of his landmark: "Blow, O Ye Winds! Rise, O Ocean! Break Forth, Ye Elements, and Try My Work!"
Less than three years later, Winstanley's challenge was accepted.
By that I mean the winds did blow, the ocean did rise, and the elements did break forth to try the architect's work. The result: Winstanley, his lighthouse, and the crew he was using to repair the already damaged facility were swept away.
Winstanley was gone, but the need for a lighthouse continued on.
Years later, John Smeaton, an elderly engineer, rebuilt the lighthouse. Smeaton found a new site and dug deep so he might build on solid rock. A sincere Christian, the new cornerstone of the lighthouse read: "Except the Lord Build the House, They Labor in Vain that Build It." For more than 90 years that lighthouse, founded on rock, was able to withstand every test that came up against it.
That is the truth which the Lord revealed to St. Paul.
Although the apostle was of the opinion he might do better work for the Lord if his unspecified thorn in the flesh was taken away, the Lord thought differently. The Lord allowed that thorn to stay in place so the apostle's leanings toward pride might be minimized and his trust and reliance upon the Lord would be maximized.
It was the Lord's way of saying, "Paul, put your faith on Jesus Christ, who must always remain the solid cornerstone, the foundation, the rock upon which your forgiveness is given and your salvation has been awarded."
Indeed, when believers do as the Lord has said, they can be sure that when the storms of life come upon us, when the winds of uncertainty howl around us, and the tides of trouble are crashing about us, the person whose house is built upon the Redeemer can be at peace.
After all, He knows these earthly difficulties are no match for the risen Savior.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, keep me humble. With a repentant heart, let me realize that I have no real strength unless it comes from You. Let me look to the Savior's cross and give thanks that when I was helplessly adrift Your Son did everything necessary to win my forgiveness and salvation. Keep me always in Your care. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries