Suffering and Strength

Today we often read about people who have “near death” experiences. These people say that they felt God’s presence in ways they can’t explain. These experiences change people’s lives in amazing ways.
I had a similar experience after a serious car accident thirty years ago. Back then people did not talk about these experiences. After I read about Paul’s experience in today’s Bible Reading, I finally understood what had happened to me.
God could have chosen to heal me from my injuries, but He did not. Like Paul, I was given a “painful problem” (verse 7) and suffering. This suffering has kept me from becoming proud and taught me that I can’t depend on my own strength.
No one enjoys problems and suffering. But it is during those times that we really rely on God. Are you weak? Then rejoice! And like Paul, learn to say, “I am glad when I am persecuted and have problems, because it is when I am weak that I am really strong” (verse 10b).