9but (the Lord) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 NRSV
Most people do not like to admit weakness. Being strong is seen as a virtue. Taken to the extreme, this can lead to a rather brutal view of life: “Only the strong survive!”
Yet the truth is that nobody is strong in every way, all of the time. There are times when we are made aware of our weaknesses. It may be when our bodies fail us in some way. It may be when we lack courage or willpower in certain situations. Or, there may be times when it is easier to “go with the flow”, rather than to stand up for what is right. Occasionally, we may look at ourselves honestly, and not see a strong person. We can be weak in so many ways: not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, too.
The Apostle Paul was a strong person. He endured much suffering, and traveled many miles for the sake of the gospel. However, he was the first to admit that he was not perfect. He had weaknesses. Yet rather than running from those weaknesses, he embraced them. Knowing himself, he accepted help from missionaries like Barnabas, Luke, John Mark and others. Paul knew that he could not be everything to everybody, so he reached out and asked for help. He also knew that the only person who could truly be everything to everyone was Jesus Christ.
Paul recognized the paradox of personal weaknesses for all Christians. When we are honest with ourselves, our weaknesses should drive us to our knees, and force us to turn to the Lord, where we find strength. As one version of 2 Corinthians 12:10 puts it, “When you’ve done everything you can do, that’s when God will step in and do what you cannot do.”
The next time you feel weak, overwhelmed and fragile, turn to God. His grace really is sufficient for us. Whether we feel strong or weak, always turn to God. We can always count on Him. He will never let you down. His grace is perfect and sufficient. With Him, we have the only true and perfect help for our weakness. When we are weak, He is strong. Amen!
Lord, You are always strong for me. I thank You for never giving up on me. Help me to allow You into every corner of my life. May my words, my actions, and my thoughts show You that I have given my whole self to You. Thank you for caring enough to carry me through life's trials, while also helping me to celebrate life’s joys.
Humbly, I pray these words in Jesus’ name, Amen