After 9/11, our country was in a state of turmoil and it resulted in many people from all walks of life turning to prayer whether they believed in God or not. The sad thing is that many did not even know to whom they were praying! When talking about prayer, we often need to emphasize the urgency of prayer even when things are not going awry, because in times of distress, prayer tends to be a more natural response. However, that is not to disparage prayer in times of extreme difficulty.
Paul and the psalmist both cried out to the Lord for help. They saw their circumstances and begged the Lord for His intervention. We often reference 1 Corinthians 12:9 as affirmation of God’s goodness, and that is valid, but it’s important to see what led up to that as well. Satan was using a particular struggle to attack Paul regularly. We are not told what it was, but scholars have long speculated about what it could have been. Maybe a physical ailment like blindness, perhaps a relationship, or even a personal struggle, but regardless of WHAT it was, Paul asked the Lord to take it away – not once, but three times. And God “didn’t answer!” Or at least that’s how we tend to perceive it sometimes.
Indeed, God did answer. He did not take the struggle away, He told Paul, “My grace is all you need. When you are at your weakest point, that’s when My strength is shown in its fullest glory!” Quite a different way to look at it! In fact, it was such a radical shift in perspective that Paul was able to say that he took pleasure in physical ailments, attacks from others, not having “enough,” and in spiritual attacks, because it was in those circumstances that God showed how great His strength really was!
The psalmist, too, cried out in the midst of difficulties. In verses 2-7 of the 120th Psalm, he enumerates what those struggles were, but the apex of the passage is right there in verse 1: “In my distress, I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me.” (emphasis mine) When we pray, when we cry out to God, He does hear. It is up to us to remember that while His answer to our prayer may not be exactly what we would like it to be, His response in blessing and in trial is that He is enough.
There are a thousand things that could happen to you today. You could receive an unexpected bill, someone could make a false accusation against you, you could receive an unpleasant diagnosis, or you could lose a loved one. Regardless of how big or how small the distress you face today, cry out to the Lord. He will hear and He will answer. His answer comes back to you, “I AM ENOUGH!”