October 12, 2018
"Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me." 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)
"What if God is inviting you to serve out of your weakness instead of your strength?"
We were sitting on a saggy couch surrounded by clamoring kids when my friend posed the question.
Our preschoolers were singing, and our toddlers were shrieking. The baby on my lap was whimpering, and the phone in my purse was ringing. But those words soared above the clatter and landed in my heart with quiet clarity.
I'd been offered an opportunity to serve the Lord in a new way, and I felt completely unqualified for the challenge. The position didn't line up with my natural gifting or maximize my strengths. It didn't plant me in my sweet spot or ignite my personal passions.
Yet, after weeks of prayer, I felt like God was asking me to say yes to the assignment. I wanted to walk in obedience, but it didn't make much sense. I could think of a dozen other people more equipped for the challenge.
Then my friend's wise words reminded me of a truth I don't often consider:
God has a script for our strengths, but He also has a plan for our weaknesses.
That thought is uncomfortable, don't you think?
We'd rather build God's kingdom through our gifts, not our gaps.
We'd prefer to serve our Savior from our savvy, not our shortcomings.
Yet, in today's key verse, we're reminded that when our weaknesses are infused with God's grace, they don't foil His plans. Instead, they frame His power.
"Each time he said ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
My friend's words were running through my mind as we followed the kids to the backyard where a swing set beckoned their play.
My 4-year-old daughter climbed on the swings while her 6-year-old brother climbed to the top of the monkey bars.
We all applauded as he glided across the silver rungs with ease.
My daughter watched with wide eyes, then climbed up the ladder and reached for those monkey bars, too.
She took hold of the first bar and let her slender frame dangle free. She shrieked with delight and stretched to take hold of the next rung. She kicked her legs and wiggled her hips, but the bar exceeded her reach. Instead of gliding across the monkey bars, she merely dangled, stuck.
Soon, her little arms grew tired, and her lips began to tremble. "I guess I can't do it," she whimpered.
In an instant, her big brother was at her side. He wrapped his arms around her swaying torso and steadied her flailing frame. "It's okay," he soothed. "I'm right here. Try again."
With her brother's hands holding her up, my girl crossed the monkey bars with a yelp of joy. When she dropped to the ground, she stepped back and studied her brother with 4-year-old admiration. "I never knew you were so strong!" she declared with a sigh of wonder.
We laughed as my son took a sheepish bow.
My friend caught my eye with a wordless wink, and I returned her gaze with a knowing nod. Right then and there, I gave God my humble yes.
Perhaps God was asking me to serve in weakness so I could more fully know His strength.
Maybe He was inviting me out of my comfort zone so I could find my comfort in Him alone.
I didn't know where my yes would lead, but I knew I'd been called to trust in God's sufficiency, not mine.
It still felt awkward. And vulnerable. Frightening and risky. But I knew God was asking for my surrender, not my strength. And I knew His arms would hold me every step of the way.
My daughter was climbing back up that silver ladder, her hands reaching for the monkey bars once again. And right below, her brother stood with a giddy grin and arms lifted high.
Dear Jesus, thank You for inviting me to partner with the King of Heaven, even when my knees are quaking here on earth. Take all of me - my weaknesses and my strengths - to use for Your story and for Your glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 11:30, "If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” (NIV)
Psalm 37:39, "The LORD rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble." (NLT)
Don't miss out on what God has for you in this very moment. Our newest devotional, Encouragement for Right Now, will get you started in the right direction. Wherever you are on your journey, Encouragement for Right Now will help you ask Him, the giver of all good gifts, for what your heart desires. It's free with a donation of your choice. Click here to learn more!
For more encouragement and a printable prayer to help you walk in God's strength, visit Alicia Bruxvoort at her blog today.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
How might God want to use not only your strengths, but also your weaknesses, to reach the world around you for Christ today? We'd love to hear your thoughts in our comments section!
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