I was given a thorn in my body because of the outstanding revelations I’ve received so that I wouldn’t be conceited. It’s a messenger from Satan sent to torment me so that I wouldn’t be conceited. I pleaded with the Lord three times for it to leave me alone. He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.” So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me. Therefore, I’m all right with weaknesses, insults, disasters, harassments, and stressful situations for the sake of Christ, because when I’m weak, then I’m strong (2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Common English Bible)
“Every weakness contains within itself a strength.” ― Shūsaku Endō
Today I feel pretty weak. The day after surgery it is to be expected. Pain medications keep the edge off the pain but they do nothing to take the edge off the weakness. It seems to me, if anything, the medication adds to the weakness. Please understand, I don’t mean people shouldn’t take pain meds. That is far from the case. Cindy would probably have run away by now without my pain medication.
We often feel weak at times in our lives. Whether it is weakness that comes on with the events of a day or week or be it inner turmoil or other things, that can happen in our lives. Much of the weakness I am feeling is physical weakness that comes with surgery. But, also an emotional weakness that comes with the death of a loved one. Grief can seem to be a form of weakness.
But, as much pain as I feel in my shoulder today, the end of the pain should be on the horizon. The surgery, while brining on additional short-term pain, will eventually relieve the pain completely. The restrictions on my body because of the pain of injury will be gone and a new strength will replace it.
Shūsaku Endō is one of my favorite Christian author. His book Silence, the story of a sixteenth century Catholic priest who goes to Japan to be a missionary and to investigate the reasons his mentor had abdicated the faith. It was something Father Rodrigo couldn’t understand.
After reading Silence the quote from Endo above doesn’t surprise me. “Every weakness contains within itself a strength.” In the book Father Rodrigo saw himself as becoming weak when he also abdicated the faith. But in so doing, he actually became more Christian than he had ever been before. I will leave the remainder of the book for you. It is a Christian novel worth the time for you to read.
Paul reminds us that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. In the things that make me weak make God strong. When I am weak I let God work through me more. I think most of us know God to be omnipotent, all powerful. But God has manners too. God isn’t going to work through us if we fail to leave God a way. We are more likely to allow God to work through us in the times of our weakness. Paul seems to be saying as much. My personal experience seems to me to indicate much the same.
So, bring on the weakness. The weakness in my shoulder will go away, eventually. It will be replaced with strength. I am not ready to start doing push-ups again, but then again, before the surgery my shoulder wasn’t doing any push-ups either. So, when I can, I will be dropping the weakness for new strength.
We should be working on that in other areas too, but we build the strength because we let God’s strength work in our weakness.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Grace and Peace,
Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved