Beyond my ability

I never thought of the Apostle Paul as ever being at his wits end. I imagine him as the guy who copes through it all, his faith miraculously sustaining him, with always a smile or the right thing to say.

So I was a little surprised to read in 2 Corinthians this week when he wrote that “we were hard pressed beyond our ability to endure”.

Sometimes I feel hard pressed beyond my ability to endure. It’s at those times I tend to sink into little emotional pools of mud. I forget to pray and feel completely hopeless. I guess Paul may have felt like that too.

I love the words that he wrote next, “...but God delivered us”.
There’s a lot of comfort to be had from the fact that God knows what we can endure, and he will deliver us if we ask him.

And from those very difficult times and that deliverance come a wealth of strength which we can use for others.

I love the difference in tone between 1 and 2 Corinthians. The second letter is clearly written after Paul has suffered great wounds. Every word is love and comfort and comes deep from his heart which is sunk deep into God’s heart.