God wants to turn your weakness to strength | Church Corner

Have you noticed how weird the world seems to be getting? Do you read beyond the headlines and see the goofy stuff that is happening in the world around us?

Have you noticed how weird the world seems to be getting? Do you read beyond the headlines and see the goofy stuff that is happening in the world around us?

In the possible event that you missed it, I want to show you how strange things are in this world.

There is, or was, this guy named Jason Padgett. According to the New Your Post, he had dropped out of Tacoma Community College and was a self-described “goof” with zero interest in academics, let alone math. The only time he dealt in numbers was to track the hours until his shift ended at his father’s furniture store, tally up his bar tab and count biceps curls at the gym. He wore a mullet, a leather vest opened to a bare chest and skintight pants. He was like a high-school student stuck in the 1980s – even though it was 2002.

But, his life completely changed on Friday the 13th of 2002. He was at a karaoke bar carousing; I’m not sure totally what carousing is but my Baptist parents told me it was bad. I digress. So he’s carousing and ends up with two obviously mean guys taking him outside and beating him up. Somewhere in the beating up part he gets kicked in the head and suffers a concussion. That normally is not a good thing. But, in Mr. Padgett’s case, when he awoke he was a mathematical genius. Yeah, I know, that’s really unusual. On the few occasions when I was knocked unconscious I awoke with less mental capacity, not more. How about you?

Listen to what the Post says: “He, that would be the a fore mentioned Padgett, is one of a few people in the world who can draw approximations of fractals, the repeating geometric patterns that are building blocks of everything in the known universe, by hand.” No kidding, by hand? I’m not even sure what approximations of fractals look like but this former karaoke bar guy can now draw them by hand.

But, there’s more! The Post goes on to say, “Tree leaves outside his window are evidence of Pythagoras’ theorem. The arc that light makes when it bounces off his car proves the power of pi.” Oh my. The last time I was banged on the head I saw light alright, but it didn’t prove anything but painful. The light bouncing off his car proves the power of pi? This from a man who had no training, or interest in math, before getting clobbered by a couple of thugs.

So what’s to be learned? No, it is not that there is a good reason to hang around karaoke bars. It’s a cheap shot I know, but this story says to me that not all hard knocks are detrimental. I told you it was a cheap shot. But think about it. Some of the hardest experiences in our lives have proven to actually be beneficial to us. It maybe didn’t make us geniuses like Mr. Padgett, but taught us lessons of value.

The Apostle Paul was no stranger to hard knocks; he wrote often about his pain. In 2 Corinthians 1:8 he writes, “For we don’t want you to be unaware, brothers, of our affliction that took place in the province of Asia: were completely overwhelmed—beyond our strength —so that we even despaired of life.” Anything that causes us to despair of life is a hard knock. In 2 Corinthians, chapter four, Paul writes that he was pressured, perplexed, persecuted and struck down. A good description of hard knocks, of being beat up by life. But, Paul is able to say that through all this, he was not crushed, not in despair; not abandoned by God, and not destroyed (2 Co 4:8-9). Further, he was able to say, “…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:29). A strong confidence that hard knocks need not be detrimental; that God desires to use them for our growth.

I don’t know today what you’ve been hit with; what you are suffering from. And I don’t mean to demean or trivialize any problem or crisis you are facing. But, I do want you to know that God knows what you are going through and wants to turn your sorrow into joy and your weakness into strength. Take heart, you are not alone nor have you been abandoned.

Oh, and another unoriginal thought to leave you with: be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle!  See you in church.

More in Life

White River Valley Museum opens “Suffer for Beauty” exhibit

Corsets, bras, and bustles, oh my! The White River Valley Museum is hosting its new event, “Suffer for Beauty,” which is all about the changing ideals of female beauty through the ages. The exhibit runs through June 17.

Library’s art and writing contest returns to Pierce County | Pierce County Library System

Pierce County teens are encouraged to express themselves through writing, painting, drawing and more for the annual Our Own Expressions competition, hosted by the Pierce County Library System.

‘School of Awake’ offers advice to adolescent girls

Twinkle, twinkle. For as long as you can remember, you’ve known how… Continue reading

Mental health first aid training in Enumclaw | The Summit

Friday, January 19 at 7 p.m., Dr. Michelle Bengtson will kick off the mental health-themed weekend by speaking on Hope for Depression: The World’s Greatest Epidemic. Dr. Bengtson is the author of the award winning “Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression.”

Print 3-D creations at Pierce County Library System

Bring a ready-to-print file and watch the magic of 3-D printing bring the file to life at Pierce County Library System’s 3-D Print Shop. The free print shop sessions are offered January through March at Pierce County Libraries, giving people the opportunity to use the 3-D printers to create items, get quick design lessons, and learn the 3-D printing process.

The past is the past, a review of ‘Robicheaux’

You don’t want to talk about it. You’ve been through rough times,… Continue reading

What would MLK do? A review on ‘Dear Martin’

What if your entire future was mapped out for you? All you’d… Continue reading

Blaine Larsen returns home for Dec. 2 concert

Blaine Larsen doesn’t perform much these days, instead spending his waking hours pursuing a higher calling.

Get your fill of winter activities on Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier’s landscape undergoes a dramatic transformation in winter.

Enumclaw, Buckley busy during the holidays

What’s going on during the holiday season on the Plateau? Here’s a list of activities you and your family may enjoy!

Bonney Lake, Sumner gear up for holiday festivities

Plateau holiday festivities are right around the corner.

Giving Trees help kids with Christmas

Nexus Youth And Families Enumclaw is asking local residents to help a child in need this Christmas by participating in the organization’s Giving Tree program.