When Weakness is Strength

I started my prayer time with complaints which, I’m embarrassed to admit, is often how I begin my prayer. I’m often just so discontent. I am never quite happy with where I am or what the Lord has given me. I’m constantly trying to skip ahead to the next big thing. I’m pretty bad at just being in the present and embracing the now. I want things to be perfect, idealistic, the way things are just isn’t good enough for me.

I was lamenting this weakness of mine for quite awhile, recognizing that by trying to skip ahead, I miss the gifts the Lord has given me in the present. I was getting really down on myself and feeling like a failure for not appreciating what God has given me. It got to the point that I just wanted to finish my prayer time and move on with life.

But instead of letting myself leave, I pressed in and decided to read the readings for this coming Sunday. I got to the second reading and tears started to block my vision as I read:

“Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but He said to me, ‘ My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ, for when I am weak, then I am strong.”            2 Corinthians 12:8-10

St. Paul was experiencing a difficulty and was begging the Lord to get rid of it for him, just as I had been begging the Lord to rid me of this character flaw of mine. But, I realized I’m not alone in trying to run from my struggles and weaknesses. If St. Paul struggled with the same thing, I’d like to say I’m in good company and I’m probably going to be okay.

I also realized, the Lord doesn’t want me to lament my weakness. He knows where I am weak, He created me. Those weaknesses give Him opportunities, openings, to come into my life. They give Him space to bring His glory. That is why the Lord tells St. Paul that in his weakness, His power is made perfect. For what better way to be sure that the Lord is working than to see Him in our weaknesses, where we know for a fact that it’s not us working?

The Lord doesn’t leave us in our mess and weakness. He puts us in positions of discontent and struggle to bring us back to Him. When everything is going well, I have a habit of losing sight of the Lord. It’s when things are difficult that I really cling to Him and grow closer to Him. So I will try to be content, as St. Paul was, “with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ,” and I will try to remember that “when I am weak, then I am strong.” I hope that you can also allow yourself to enter into your weakness and embrace it as an opportunity to be drawn closer to Christ instead of running from it.

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