So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ can work through me.
That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses,
and in the insults, hardships,
persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 CORINTHIANS 12:9-10 (NLT)
I had always been capable of taking care of myself. If there was something I wanted – I went and did it. I felt I didn’t need nor did I ask for anyone else’s help. After my amputation, I continued to live my life in that self-sufficient mode. I immediately thrust myself into helping others when I was the one who needed the help. Fortunately, I was unable to sustain that mode for very long and I eventually burned myself out.
I do believe that God just allowed me to wear myself out at my own game. Eventually, I cried out, “I can’t do it anymore, I can’t!” I had no strength left. I reached the point where I didn’t give a rip; I didn’t care what happened.
But when I was totally at the end of myself – when I had nothing left to give – that’s when it got exciting because that’s when I saw the hand of God come in to provide the help I needed. You could almost hear him say: “Now you have got it. It’s never been you. I just let you run out of steam. Now watch me put your life back together!”
When I was humbled and admitted my weakness that was when I finally began to understand my true need for God. And for the first time in my life, I realized that I had always placed my security in myself rather than God.
Sound familiar? For most of us men, it is easy to think that everything depends on us. We work hard and we are rewarded for it. We get a paycheck that is able to provide us with a home, clothing on our backs, food on the table and necessities for the family. It is easy to feel that we are in control – that our security is in ourselves.
But when that gets pulled out from underneath us we begin to wonder where our security really comes from. And that is where God steps in.
When we are brought to the end of ourselves and admit our weakness – there is release. When we finally realize how weak we truly are and that the power and the responsibility lays in God, not us – when we confess that the battle is the Lord’s, not ours – that releases us, frees us and strengthens us. As Francois Fenelon so rightly says …
“But you need to understand that you cannot become strong
until first you are aware of your weakness.
It is amazing how strong we can become
when we begin to understand what weaklings we are!
It is in weakness that we can admit our mistakes
and correct ourselves while confessing them.
It is in weakness that our minds are open
to enlightenment from others.”
I think if I had not been brought to the point of total weakness I would never have known how much I could trust God and how faithful He is. In admitting my weakness I finally found strength. What joy there was in that discovery!
The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
On the journey with you,