“I want you to close your eyes and think about the greatest teachers you’ve ever had. What about those teachers made them special? What were some of the things they taught you? One teacher I want to talk about is Mr. Experience. Mr. Experience is not a person, although that would be a unique last name. If I could say something to a single mom, it’s that your experience and what God has brought you through matters, and it has the power to teach us in powerful ways.
We all have different experiences in life, and those experiences have shaped us into who we are today. There have been good times in our lives when we were riding cloud nine, and we felt like life was going smoothly. And there have been times when we’ve felt like we were at the end of our rope and stuck in a valley.
In the opening chapter of 2 Corinthians, Paul is updating the people on his change of plans, and it starts off gloomy. Paul is expressing to others his experiences. He is hitting road bump after road bump and has even been close to death. Paul is not writing this so they would feel bad for him and throw him a pity party. Paul is writing this so they might be encouraged and comforted. Paul is using his experience to speak about the goodness of God and how God has brought them comfort through all their afflictions.
You might be able to relate to how he’s feeling. You might be weighed down by the burdens of life you don’t want to continue. Maybe you’re suffering from an illness or disease and feel like you have received the sentence of death. I’m not sure what you’re walking through, but I do know you are not walking alone.
Paul is using what he’s been through to teach a lesson to the Corinthians, and the lesson is that he and his companions are desperately dependent on God. What a beautiful message! They could not rely on themselves. The different trials they faced forced them to rely on God, who raises the dead. They relied on God, who they knew would deliver them again. Paul understood that God was with them through it all and God was using this situation to draw them closer to him.
Paul is not the only one who has walked through the storm. The same God who walked through storms with Paul is the same God who is still walking with his people today and using these experiences in your life to teach you something. Scripture does not teach that God is playing games and he just puts random things and events together and hopes they work out. Scripture does show us that God is involved in our lives and that he works all things together for our good and for his glory.
With that in mind, what are you walking through today? How is God using certain experiences in your life to teach you something? How can your unique experience be a blessing to those around you?”