“Pressed out of measure.” 2 Corinthians 1:8
“That the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Nothing but the extremities in which Paul was constantly placed could ever have taught him, and taught the Church through him, the full meaning of the great promise he so learned to claim, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” And nothing but our trials and perils would ever have led some of us to know Him as we do, to trust Him as we have, and to draw from Him the measures of grace which our very extremities made indispensable.
Difficulties and obstacles are God’s challenges to faith. When hindrances confront us in the path of duty, we are to recognize them as vessels for faith to fill with the fullness and all-sufficiency of Jesus; and as we go forward, simply and fully trusting Him, we may be tested, we may have to wait and let patience have her perfect work; but we shall surely find at last the stone rolled away, and the Lord waiting to render unto us double for our time of testing. (Streams in the Desert)
Descending to LaGuardia International Airport turned into an unexpected faith examination. Due to storms in the area, we were the last plane to land before authorities shut down the airport for takeoffs and landings for more than two hours. Lightning created a strobe-like effect through the plane’s windows, and the plane itself felt like a paint can being shaken all directions at once. It was slightly humorous how many passengers seated nearby invoked God’s help in the press of the moment. I merely thanked God for His love and mercy, and resigned myself to whatever future remained, if any. Discipleship begins when crucifixion becomes personal; we grow in Christlikeness when we endure hardship with the spirit of Christ.