"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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10
I am not a particularly strong person. One of my new favorite terms for myself is “marshmallow” as I avoid conflict like the plague and do just about everything in my power to make sure no one is ever mad or irritated with me. My idol is people, plain and simple and looking back over the course of my life I can see it very clearly. The obedient golden child who rarely got spankings and cringed at disappointed glances really isn’t so golden or perfect; she’s just a self-worshiping narcissist who would generally prefer to take the easy way out.
On a slightly darker note, though most likely a connected one, I have struggled for years with mild depression. It comes out of nowhere, like a tidal wave crashing into me so hard I feel I can’t breathe or even see past the end of my nose. Joy is sucked from life and things go gray. I feel guilty for feeling this way because I have been so, utterly blessed in so many areas, and I hear this voice telling me that I am ungrateful and that a real Christian wouldn’t feel this way.
No, I’m not a strong person. I listen to the lies Satan tells me, I worship gods that can neither see, nor hear, nor have hands to create or protect. I forget the truths I learn from the word God has given us. I forget to listen to the whisper that instills such truth. I focus far too much on myself and ignore the plight of others. I am terribly, terribly weak.
And I am learning to thank God for it.
The helplessness I feel, the gray I am often trapped in, always brings me to my knees, to the conclusion than I have zero power on my own. And eventually that whisper breaks through all the stupid noise, the guilt, the foolishness and reminds me of Whose I am, what’s been done for me, and that it is in my weakness than He can be strong. It isn’t when I feel brave and bold and confident that I can be effective, it’s when I am completely aware of my feebleness that I can be used for great things.
Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t always bring on the rush of endorphins that suddenly pulls me up out of the gloom. I don’t actually hear a physical voice. I still have to fight the lies banging around in my head. But the whisper of truth reminds me of the rock I can rest on; King who stepped down from His throne to live the life I should be living, died the death I should have died, and breathed His spirit into me, replacing my heart of stone with a beating heart of flesh.
“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”