“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me”. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Our names and our accomplishments are the materials that paint a picture of our identity. We delight in our skills and we are proud when we win awards. We are gratified by our career. We are excited to share our gifts and we long to share our knowledge and our wisdom with one another. In the Bible, however, God repeatedly uplifts the inadequate, the vulnerable, and the downtrodden and humbles the successful and the proud. Our greatest gift to each other may not be our strength, but our vulnerability. The best gift that we can give to each other may not be our capabilities, but the acknowledgement of our complete and utter dependence on God.
I am often startled after I complete a painting. I turn on music. I mix some paint colors and I struggle with an idea. I usually pray. I hate what it looks like up close, but I love the process enough to continue painting. Eventually, the blank spots are colored in and I give it up. However, there is one more step in the process. I put the painting across the room and I look at it from a distance. It no longer is a collection of tiny flaws in paint, but rather, it is a picture of something. It becomes a completed painting.
We are a collection of tiny and large flaws, created by God to reflect something beautiful. We cannot see it, but God can. We move past each other in life hoping to hide the one thing that makes us most loveable; our weakness. Sometimes, briefly, our souls touch each other. It may be for a season. It may be for a moment. It may be for a lifetime. We become that “right person” in time made to hold each other up and made to share our burdens. We become the one person who understands. We become the right one for the job and the right one to talk to. We become the right one to love. We are not drawn to each other by accident, but by divine appointment. We are each other’s gift from God.
We love each other’s abilities but we can relate to each other’s inadequacies. Perhaps one of the reasons that Christ is so lovely to us is because, although He is God, He is not removed from our struggles. He has tasted bitterness. He has wept. He has known sorrow. He has known anguish. He has lived with the burden of walking on this earth.
We are a fragile and broken vessel made not to take pride in our abilities, but to boast in the impossible tasks we complete in God’s strength alone. We are most approachable in our vulnerability and most loveable when we are at our weakest. We are, perhaps, at our best when we are at our worst. We are at our best when we are not our own, but fully and utterly dependent on the goodness of God. We are most blessed when we are broken and bereft, for it is then that our actions, our words, our lives, are fully out of our control and placed into God’s gentle and loving hands. We are fully submitted. We are His, and His unending love holds us up.
“God does not need your strength: he has more than enough of power of his own. He asks your weakness: he has none of that himself, and he is longing, therefore, to take your weakness, and use it as the instrument in his own mighty hand. Will you not yield your weakness to him, and receive his strength?”Charles Spurgeon
Written by Janet Keefe