I pray for God to strengthen me. Over and over I plead for Him to make me stronger and better able to fulfill the callings He has on my life.
But I fail. And fail. And fail.
I pray one last time, strengthen me.
Then it hits me. I’m praying for the wrong thing. Instead of pleading for Him to strengthen me, I need to pray for Him to be my strength.
“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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9 – 12:10 ESV)
His power is made perfect in my weakness. Wow, what a shift. Instead of asking God to remove the things that plague me (i.e. my ailments, my pride, my depression, my difficult stages of life), maybe all this time I should have been praying for Him to be my strength in all these things.
So I stop.
I stop asking for Him to make me different than I am. I stop trying to be something I am not. I stop pleading for Him to take away these “thorns”.
I have had it all backwards!
I am insufficient, but His grace is sufficient.
I am weak and His power is made perfect in that weakness.
I want to hide my problems, fix them, and celebrate my victories. Instead, I am to boast gladly of my weakness.
Trying to make myself strong only leads to fatigue, yet Christ’s unending power rests in me. I am discontented with my weaknesses and difficulties, but I can choose to have contentment knowing He has a plan for it all, for the sake of the glory of Christ.
Strength comes through the weakness.
His strength … comes through my weaknesses.
Lord, keep me weak, so that You might be my strength.
What weaknesses in your life do you need God to be your strength in? Are you discouraged by your blunders in life, your weaknesses, or your failed attempts to spend more time with God? How can the seemingly inexplicable message of 2 Corinthians 12 help with your spiritual life?