When the answer is “no,” leaving us weak, then what?

Recently my lovely wife Alberta passed. We were married for 25 years, 46 days. God’s answer to numerous prayers for her healing was “no” and instead he graciously delivered her into eternity, where she is now experiencing no pain. Yet, her passing has often left me very sad and weak. The apostle Paul shared an important God-breathed practical mindset regarding weakness with us in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

“…My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I [Paul] will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Since many of us are members in Grace Communion International, grace is a part of our name and DNA. Sometimes we have been challenged over the years with weaknesses in the midst of personal challenges or denominational change. Maybe even pain!

Such was the case recently: to honor my wife’s wishes, I needed to travel by plane and auto to do a graveside service with family in another state. God graciously supplied not only the strength to do this, but also an out-of-town brother, retired pastor Glen Weber, who drove about twenty hours over three days to accommodate this. I am functioning with one eye and could not have done this on my own.

I was in pain and God supplied both strength to me and a brother (and others) to lighten the pain which God has guided me to also do for others over the years. We are in this together, so I gently leave all of us with this question: whose weakness is God directing you and me to, to strengthen and lift up today with his strength?

Prayer: Almighty wonderful Triune God, thank you for all the heroes you have put into my life before and after the passing of Alberta. Alberta was certainly my hero and a favor from you (Proverbs 18:22). Thank you for the Body of Christ and your called-out ones who participate with you and lift up those who are weak. May each of us be your arms, hands and legs passing along your love, hope and faith to those in need. Thank you for always being our strength. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Tom Ecker, Retired GCI Pastor

13 thoughts on “When the answer is “no,” leaving us weak, then what?”

  1. Dear Tom,

    2. Corinthians 12:9-10 has often been my scriptural anchor. God always provides, even in our pains and when we walk through the darkest valleys. Be assured, you have many brothers and sisters around the world who will praying for you. Thank you, Glen, for being there for Tom.

    Grace and Peace,
    Santiago

    1. Santiago, thank you 😊 for your consistency of kindness and encouragement in each of your posts. Blessings to you both. Your brother, Tom

  2. Loss of a wife or a family member is so very hard on us, May God supply you with strength and accompany you on life’s journey.

    1. Billy Don, thank you, from your insightful tender comments, it sounds like you also have experienced up close and personal grief. Blessings and comfort on your journey as well, my brother. Tom

    1. Lister, thank you for your uplifting comment and thanks again for the original poem you wrote for Alberta that you mailed me and all the best on your sermon tomorrow. Your longtime brother, Tom

    1. Peniasidnakautoga, as you say his grace is so personal and unique for each of us. Thank you for taking the time to share your positive thoughts with me. Your brother, Tom

  3. We have the hope of meeting again under the rule and love of Christ and seeing Allberta. I pray God may give you strength.
    In love James from Australia

    1. James from Australia, “under the love and rule of Christ,” precious words, thank you for wonderful thought.tne We have never met to my knowledge so looking forward to meeting you. Blessings, mate, Tom

  4. Hi Tom,
    God’s Grace was sufficient for me to be available at a time when you needed His Grace. We continue to remember you in prayer during this transition to the next chapter of life.

    1. Glen, thank you for our 45 year friendship. Thank you too for the driving, the support and words at the graveside, the conversations during those twenty hours (I think we had 20 seconds of silence the whole trip😊), and Connie and you hosting me for a night on both ends of the trip. God bless you brother as I have been graciously blessed by you, Tom

  5. Tom, we all share in your pain with the death of your hero, your wife! The hope of the resurrection will keep you until you too will be joined together in Eternity, being changed from mortal to immortality! Thank God for a loving brother now to help bear your burden, to know that you are not alone and who also reinforces the coming of our Lord and Savior, who will set up His Kingdom on earth! 1 Cor 15:53-54

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