Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Power of Weakness

Sometimes I hate it when people tell me "you're so strong." It's not because I don't like to be complimented, but more that I really don't feel "so strong." I also feel like the statement is left hanging like they meant to say "you're so strong compared to...." what? It's like in the back of their minds they think they couldn't handle caregiving. In reality none of us probably set it as our life goal; but it was handed to us and we adjust the best we can; and they would too. We are all very adaptable.

Maybe it bothers me because I feel anything but strong - I feel so weak. The caregiving journey has helped me to see and deal with my weaknesses. There's nothing like the caregiving role to reveal all those weak areas. Even though I feel very vulnerable and weak, I have learned how to rest in His strength. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Paul was asking God to take away his "thorn in the flesh." There has been much argument over what exactly was giving Paul so much trouble - but whatever it was he asked God to remove it 3 times. God's response was: My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."

This answer didn't seem to frustrate Paul at all. As a matter of fact it seems that he offered a quick response: Most gladly therefore will I rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. Rather than fighting to get out of the difficulties, he totally yielded to them so that the power of God could manifest itself in him.

Paul was no longer whining or complaining; but began to boast in being weak! When we realize how weak we are, we can begin to rely on God for strength. As long as we feel like we are strong in our own power we will not fully trust Him. I find that it's more difficult to trust Him for things I feel like I can do myself. When it goes beyond what I can accomplish, then I turn to Him for help. So like Paul we can say that caregiving is beyond what we can carry on our own. Then we can be glad we are weak and rather than begrudging the load - we can rejoice that God's grace is helping us carry it; and that His grace is carrying us through it as well.

When I am weak - I am strong because His grace empowers me. Therefore I can boast in my weakness because it is in those times that I can see how strong He is in me.

Today I will meditate on how He is strong for me and in me. I will purposefully yield to His strength and allow Him to carry me. My thoughts will be set on His grace and how it is enough for what I face today; and on His strength in me demonstrating to the world that His strength is perfected in my weakness. Will you join me?


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