I recently heard a story that I thought I would share.
A visiting preacher was talking to the regular preacher of a congregation where a meeting was being held. During the course of the conversation, the visiting preacher asked the regular preacher about a lady who was in the crowd. He had noticed her as he stood preaching, and wondered about her. She was wearing a ring, but her husband was not with her. She looked very tired, but her eyes were clear and bright.
When he asked about her, the regular preacher said, “That is Marsha. We have plans to go visit at her house tomorrow. I will tell you her story as we drive over.”
The next day, as they were travelling, the regular preacher told the story. Marsha was the oldest of 6 children whose mother had died unexpectedly when they were still young. Marsha’s father had never remarried and Marsha, as the oldest, became the “mother” for her siblings. One by one, she watched them grow, get married, and leave home. After the last was away, it was her turn to get married. She married a good man and had a child. The child was born with a host of medical and mental problems. He couldn’t speak or function normally. The doctors begged Marsha to put him in an institution, but she refused. For 20 years she cared for her child until he died.
The regular preacher continued to explain that soon after the child had passed away that Marsha’s father came to live with them. He was elderly and suffered from dementia and blindness. He needed constant supervision and help. Furthermore, Marsha’s husband had suffered a stroke two years previously and was also infirm. Marsha cared for both of them full time.
On top of that, she had prepared lunch for these two preachers. The visiting preacher was overwhelmed.
After lunch, as they were leaving Marsha’s house, the visiting preacher put his arm around her and asked, “How do you do it?”
Marsha looked at him with those bright, clear eyes that he had noticed while preaching and said only, “Christ is sufficient.”
In this story is a lesson that we all need to learn. She preached a more powerful sermon by her life and three simple words than most preachers preach in a lifetime. She showed by her actions what a Christ-like life of service really means. She truly took the example of Paul to heart:
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 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. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 ESV)
Christ is sufficient! Let us never forget what He did for us.