Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked him to take it away. But his answer was: ‘My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.’ I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me. I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (verses 8-10)
Now this I can identify with. In Sunday school I was given the feeling that the great men and women of God were superheroes. It was only later that I came to realise how far from the truth this impression was. Like me, like you, they had their human failings – some very bad human failings.
This is comforting, because if Jesus can only use superheroes, people of super faith, people who never let him down, then he will never be able to use people like me. But if he can use people like Moses, David, Peter and Paul, and use them mightily, then he can use you and me too – mightily.
And it is true: when we are strong, we are likely to believe we are able to do God’s work with our own strength. But when we try this – disaster. But when we know we have to rely on him, when we do his work knowing that it is him acting through us, there is no limit to what we can do. Jesus gives us the parameters in John 14: I am telling you the truth: those who believe in me will do what I do – yes, they will do even greater things’ (verse 12a ).
Lord, help me always to be weak enough to know how much I need you and confident to know how much you can do for me when I am weak. Amen.
by Robert Turnbull, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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