July 31, 2020
The Gift of Our Weakness
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"But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.' Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me." 2 Corinthians 12:9 (CSB)
There have been times in my life where I sat on the floor asking God for just a sliver more of strength to press on. Those moments have a way of reminding me I have come to the end of my strength, my will and my power.
Recently, the Lord used one of those on-the-floor moments to breathe life over my weak and weary soul. I was coming out of a challenging season. Our family had endured many trials in the last year, putting an emphasis on wounds that were still healing.
I was finally starting to find my footing when everything changed. We were all overwhelmed with a pandemic, grief, loss, tension and confusion.
On the floor, I silently prayed, How on earth am I supposed to keep pressing in, Father? My heart is so tired, my mind weary, and everything feels so tender.
I felt empty, tired and lost. The strength and power in me felt futile when trying to serve my family, job and friendships - all while tending to my own soul. Maybe you've felt the same, friend.
As I wrestled with the Father that day, I sensed an urgency to look at my belief system. How did I conclude I had to carry this on my own? Why was my soul almost bitter toward God, as if He'd withheld some sort of help from me?
Had I made an idol out of my strength and resilience? Had my pride become the foundation for what I thought my soul could carry?
The answer was yes.
I was believing the lie that in and of myself, I was strong enough to take on the hardships of life. Weakness was not welcome here.
God whispered words of hope to me there on the floor: Daughter, you are a broken vessel, made whole in Me. You are broken open to spill the power, hope and love of Christ into the lives of others. You were created to be an image-bearer of My glory. It is Me in you and through you. I am the source.
God was not withholding His power from me. He is an ever-present help! But I wanted Him to give me the power so I could do it on my own. All the while, He wanted to do it through me.
God's desire has always been for His family to be a people who reflect His power and love. We were not created to be the source of strength. We were created to worship Him as our source of strength. All the power to overcome, press into life, love and experience abundance - it comes from the Father. Which means all the glory goes to Him too.
Our weakness is an opportunity for life, renewal and dependency to take place. For us to grab hold of the presence, peace and power offered to us by the Father. As God says in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness." And Paul responds, "Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me."
In our flesh, we cannot find the wherewithal to muster up the strength, will or courage to press on. When those things do manifest themselves through us, they are supernatural gifts from the Father, showing the world the victory and power of Christ in us.
Friends, God will use situations to remind us He is the source of our strength, power, joy and hope. Our role is to partner with Him in it - confessing we are not the source or enough - but that He is.
So, we boast. We boast about our good God who graciously offers us His grace. We rejoice in our weakness, as God meets us right where we are to gift us His strength and power. Our weakness is a gift because it's where His power is made perfect. In His presence, we find His power. His presence and power reside in me and in you.
Father, thank You that in You, we find and have all the power and strength we need. Help us to remember we are not the source, but You are - that in Your presence, we find Your power. We love You and thank You for Your sustaining grace. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Isaiah 40:29, "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." (NIV)
Without realizing it, we've gotten lost in our own lives. We've settled for "good enough" and days that run together in an unmemorable blur. We long for something to shake us up, but we're exhausted by the thought of it. In her book, The Spirit-Led Heart: Living a Life of Love and Faith Without Borders, bestselling author Suzanne Eller shows how living and loving without limits has nothing to do with your own efforts - and everything to do with God's Holy Spirit. Pick up a copy today.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What are some ways Christ's strength can manifest through you in the midst of your day?
As feelings of weakness emerge, slow down enough to remember that your source of strength is the power and love of Christ in you and through you. Share your stories of God's strength in you in our comments section!