The gift of weakness

About three weeks ago, as we were going on holiday, I began to feel a strong sense of my own weakness. I was feeling very tired after a busy term. I was struggling with a cold and bruised ribs and was particularly aware of my battle against specific sins (impatience, selfishness etc.). 

As the holiday went on, I began to reflect on this weakness and came to the increasing conviction that it was actually a gift. Paul describes a similar feeling in 2 Corinthians 12. In verse 10, he describes how he delights in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties. It’s not that Paul is some sort of masochist. It’s that his weakness is the perfect context to display God’s strength and power. God’s words to Paul are as true for us as they were for him, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’.

Weakness humbles us. It reminds us that we’re only human with limited capacity. Weakness forces us to depend on God in a way that we often want to resist. Weakness also forces us to depend on others in a way that sometimes feels uncomfortable. 

The day-to-day grind will sometimes feel difficult. At times you’ll feel utterly spent. Of course, there’s a reminder to live in good rhythms of rest. But more than that, it’s a reminder of the reality of the human condition, that we’re imperfect and limited. We’re able to admit this because we know one who is truly powerful, whose strength and power will never wear out. And of course, his strength is on display, as we persevere, empowered by his Spirit, through the struggles and challenges of life.