In a sparring match, one of the factors of losing a fight is tiredness. A fighter eventually tires out and his muscles don’t have the strength to land a solid punch or react fast enough to a block. The fighter’s vision blurs from a lack of oxygen and his legs are too weak to stand because not enough blood is circulating to those farther regions of the body. Perhaps many times we have felt exactly like a fighter in the ring of life facing bouts against ongoing trials and uncertainties. The struggles we face wear on us emotionally, mentally, spiritually, relationally and physically. So often the big question facing us is not “how do we fight,” but how do we go on fighting when we don’t have the strength to.
I’m not sure if I can think of a slam-dunk solution. We’ve likely heard the various suggestions before: find some downtime, get away, relax, think healthier thoughts, have a more balanced lifestyle, surround yourself with supportive people, or just take a good nap. But the fight can be so drawn out that all of these suggestions become anesthetics rather than answers. The only solution that comes to mind for me is what God said to Paul when he cried out of desperation. “My grace is sufficient for you,” God said (1 Cor. 12:9). This could mean God’s grace gives us power when we our too weak to fight. It could mean where we lack the ability to be effective God supernaturally intervenes. It could mean his grace covers us when we can’t do much more than make mistakes. It could mean all of the above. We do know for sure that “sufficient” in the original Greek means “enough,” meaning fully satisfied and nothing more is needed. It means that in that area of our lives and in that moment, we don’t have to be or do more than what we have to offer. It’s enough because of his grace. Wisdom is knowing what ought to change and what ought to stay because of the sufficiency of grace. For whatever reasons, there are things God chooses not to change in our lives. Our faith, then, is not measured by quantity but defined by kind. It’s a kind of faith, one that is an intimate, deep sort of trust that allows us to access God’s vast pool of grace. As unyielding as the fight may seem, so is the flow of God’s fierce and abundant grace.