Just a little over two weeks ago I opened my devotional on the Holy Spirit to read the following passage of Scripture …
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:1-6 (ESV)
Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us …
I could almost hear God chuckling.
WordWeb has a very simple definition for sufficient: of a quantity that can fulfill a need or requirement but without being abundant
You may be wondering, “Why does Bernie find this amusing?”
I read this devotional around 12:30am on a Saturday morning as I unexpectedly found myself in the midst of a 20 hour overnight hospital stay … hooked up to an IV bag and pole … capturing my urine every time I went to the bathroom … having either vitals checked or blood drawn every few hours … in my wonderful drafty hospital gown prepared to display all my glory for anyone who approached from the rear.
And God wants me to read Scripture about being insufficient in myself to fulfill my own needs and requirements … I mean really, is there any place on earth you feel less sufficient than as a patient in a hospital?
It was like I was receiving both a devotional lesson and an object lesson all in one regarding my insufficiency and the sufficiency that only comes from God … and I thank Him dearly for the lesson and the reminder.
The results of my hospital stay later revealed the serious problem of a fully blocked kidney that I was totally and completely unaware of … one that a simple outpatient procedure rectified a scant week later.
Without God, when would that problem have been discovered? How serious would the complications have become? What long-term damage could have been done?
I was totally and completely insufficient to diagnose or fix this health issue.
However, Christ Jesus is totally and completely sufficient in ALL things!
Thank you Jesus!