“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 Cor 12:9
We don’t like to feel weakness. Weakness, we conclude, is for those who are incapable of being independent. Weakness is for those who lack strength and clarity. Weakness is for those who don’t have it all together and who ought to have it all together. Weakness is for other people, but not for us.
We often have an internal need to be strong and present ourselves well to others. We want to show people we have it all together, can collect ourselves, and get through any situation because we’re strong. But the problem is…well, we’re not.
For many people, weakness is not simply a physical attribute, but is equal to emotional vulnerability. We are weak because we can’t deal with the stresses in life. We are weak because we feel the need to cry. We are weak if we show sadness, hurt, tears, dependence, and any need for help.
Why do we have issues showing weakness? Pride. Our pride wants to prove to ourselves that we can get through anything, that we are independent and not needing anyone. Pride tells us to stand on our feet and never to get on our knees in submission. Our pride leads us to believe that showing weakness is equal to being less than. Less than what? Less of an ideal man. Less of an ideal woman. Less than any ideal that is in the mind.
But here’s the kicker. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we ought to realize that we are less than the ideal in our minds. We are less than the ideal of our hearts. We are weak and needy. It’s OK for us to realize this, because without this acknowledgement, there would be no need for God.
Every so often I’m reminded of how frail I am. I was talking with my wife and simply didn’t realize how troubled I can be when considering a few health issues. I found myself fighting back a few tears when thinking about how things could become in the next ten to twenty years. Why did I fight the tears? Because I wanted to be strong, even though I know I can be vulnerable with my wife.
When we fight back our emotions, we are preventing our weakness from showing itself. Yet, it is this vulnerability that brings people closer to one another and actually strengthens the bond between two people. It is only after we share our hearts that we actually grow stronger.
In the verse above, Paul shares that he has gotten to the point to boast about his weaknesses so that God’s grace (favor) may empower him. God’s power became most evident in his life when he humbled himself before God and others. Admitting any weakness and vulnerability to them showed God’s power was at work.
Emptying ourselves of our pride means God’s power will prevail.
Friends, many of us are doing our best to hold things together and to be strong for everyone around us. We are doing life as best as we can considering what is going on outside our control. While doing what you can, I encourage you to remember to get down on your knees (if you physically can) and go before the Lord to seek Him.
Share your thoughts and feelings with Him. If you can talk out loud, I recommend doing this as it makes it “more real” than just thoughts. Sometimes it helps even to hear ourselves talk. Share with a spouse or friend what you are working through and be totally vulnerable if they are safe people. If not, then perhaps see a counselor or talk to a trusted pastor.
Do you have the strength to be weak? Allow yourself to be weak. Only then will you grow stronger by His grace. Need additional help, check out this blog, Coping with Christ. Blessings!