For whatever reason, weakness has always correlated with ‘wrong’, ‘bad’, ‘unreliable’, and ‘unbelieving’. Because of this, I have never wanted to be known or to think of myself as weak or needy.
At first I thought this was a cultural thing, but the more I think of it; I’m convinced it’s a human thing. I’m convinced of this, because I’ve never met anyone who willingly, joyfully, and intentionally opens up themselves to people in a vulnerable way in order that people can see their weaknesses. It’s our human nature to want to be known and seen as strong, independent, and confident. We want to be known as people who can handle things themselves, get a job done well without help, and live life without much assistance from anyone else.
In contrast to this thinking, it was interesting to hear a Cornerstone Simi Audio Podcast by Matt Moore entitled, ‘The Beauty of Weakness’. I can identify with the title. I know weakness is beauty, because I can see it in other people. When others are open and vulnerable, questioning and seeking out genuine answers from someone other than themselves – it is a truly beautiful process. I’ve witnessed it myself, and I fully agree that there is Beauty in Weakness. However, I don’t know how there can be beauty in my failures, in my let downs, in my lack of holiness. How is there beauty in my own weakness? This, I did not understand.
From Matt Moore’s insight, I learned something. It’s not my failure, my unreliability, my lack of holiness that is beautiful. When I’m lacking holiness or victory or strength, there is something missing. There’s a space in me that is not completely filled, and what goes into that space (if I let it) is what is beautiful.
“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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
When I lack something, when I am weak, when I am torn down, when I am in despair, when I have already tried my last rope and have no more plans or even ideas of what to try, then I am made perfect. How? How does this make any sense whatsoever?? How can I possibly try everything, give my best, try my hardest, then pull myself up by my bootstraps and try harder and still fail and then say ‘yes, weakness is beautiful and it is good’? …because, in my weakness, God’s power is being made perfect in me.
Ya know, honestly, I had to just go back and look at the verse; because at first, I wrote ‘I am being made perfect.’ But, that’s not what it says. The verse says, ‘My (God’s) power is made perfect in weakness.’ God’s power in us is made perfect in our weakness. I’ve gone through a time where when I heard this I didn’t find it a good thing. I found it annoying as ever and it just made me more hostile and bitter to the Truth.
My attitude and thought was and sometimes still is…”great, I’m weak. I’m sick. I’m tired. I feel like crap. I don’t want to do this and I have no motivation whatsoever. I don’t really care about what I’m doing and yet I still have to do it. Awesome. Thanks, God. I’m weak and I hate it. I could take joy in this, but I already prayed for joy. And I’m not joyful right now!”
Haha…I remember one time in particular, where I was struggling in practically every way….physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I couldn’t get a hold on anything or even explain things to anyone, including myself. I just cried out to God; and you know what He gave me? In my weakness, in my bitterness, in my anger, He gave me hard Truths from James 1.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trails of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4
(I still sometimes want to tell God that this was not the right time or place to show me this verse, because it did not produce anything holy in me at that time). Take note: It did not produce anything holy in me at that time. I knew what God was saying to me. I knew He was saying to take joy in my trails, to take joy in my weakness, to appreciate this time where I am struggling in so may ways. And to be honest, I didn’t want to accept that Truth at that time. So I didn’t.
Thank the Lord that He is patient with His children, because He showed me this Truth again, in a different light. He showed me that there is beauty in weakness. And, I am weak, so I figure there must be beauty in that somewhere. Though I may not see all or even parts of the beauty in it right now, perhaps I will see it later. I don’t know, but whatever the case, I know that weakness is a good thing. I know it’s what God wants from me.
I know that when I am weak, I am moldable clay. I know that when I am weak, I am a sheep who is willing to follow instead of lead myself astray. I know that when I am weak, I am vulnerable and I am then a teachable disciple. I know that when I am weak, I seek the Truth not for knowledge sake, but for the sake of banking my heart on what my Creator-Judge says is true.
I know that when I am weak, I am where God wants me to be. And, I know that when I am weak, the Father is near. I’m now banking on these Truths, and I’m aiming to live in weakness, in order that the power of God is made perfect in my weakness, because where I lack, I create space for God to be. And wherever God is, there is Truth, there is love, there is freedom; and that is what I need more of in me.
More of You and less of me, I pray; may my weakness by a way for more of You in me
If you need to claim to these Truths, as I do, meditate on these verses with me.
- The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18
- The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. – Psalm 51:17
- How you have helped him who has no power! How you have saved the arm that has no strength! – Job 26:2
- Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. – Psalm 34:19