Power Perfected in Weakness
For when I am weak
then I am strong
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 gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10, CSB
I don’t know about you, but admitting weaknesses is tough for me. I like to be the person who has it all together- the one who is dependable, shows up on time, and is always willing to try new things. I want to be known as somebody who is kind, fun, gentle with words, and who has a strong work ethic.
If I’m not careful, these attributes that I care about can very quickly become what defines my identity. Who is Alison? Oh, she’s fun and a hard worker. She’s kind and a good friend.
The problem is, this definition is not totally true. Sometimes I say words that hurt. Sometimes I’m short-tempered, defensive, and lazy. Sometimes, I am more interested in what other people think about me than I am about anything else. On top of all that, this weird sort of crazy lion comes out whenever anyone calls me “sassy.” Why? Probably, because it’s true. And I know it.
In the passage from 2 Corinthians above, I think Paul is saying that whenever you acknowledge your weaknesses you get to see and experience how intimate and powerful the Lord is in a new way. This becomes evident when you appreciate joy more once you’ve first experienced sadness. Guidance is more appreciated once you’ve first felt lost. You are more grateful for food after you’ve first experienced hunger.
The Lord’s goodness is vast and never-ending, but there is a new appreciation for His goodness once you are able to come to terms with your specific need and see how the Lord abundantly supplies. A new awareness will awaken when you can say, “I know that was from Jesus because I know what it’s like without Him.”
When you get to the place where you’re able to acknowledge how insufficient you are on your own and how desperately you need Jesus to guide you- in words, thoughts, wisdom, hard conversations, loneliness, insecurities (the list goes on)- then His strength overcomes your weakness. You realize His power at work within you. This happens when you let go and rest in the power of Abba. In this posture of openhandedness, you can celebrate your weaknesses because you know who you are in Him. How awesome it is to know the Lord is saying, “I know all of you. I love you, and I want to use you. Now, let go and trust Me.”
Alison Rice, WSC Staff Development