By: Susan Bea Good
“Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10/NLT)
I have a three-part theme when I coach basketball: “Work Hard-Make it Good-Finish Strong.” Hard work and making a good effort are focused on the end result of finishing strong. Weakness is not an option! This will continue to be my coaching theme, however, I have recently realized the value of weakness in another sense that has nothing to do with sports.
The Apostle Paul learned at the end of his own years of hardship that God offers His strength to those who finally realize they are weak. Paul was the epitome of strength of conviction against religious hypocrites. He showed personal bravery while being threatened in storms, enduring shipwrecks, and being snake-bit. He refused the easy life he could have enjoyed as an educated Roman citizen and instead sang with joy while shackled in a Roman prison. Yet Paul boasted, not of these dramatic physical and emotional experiences, but of the resulting spiritual weakness that was his after enduring relentless personal attacks from those whom he loved. Paul was “weakened” and ruined by evil men…and he knew that his God ordained it!
Though he asked three times for this brokenness to be removed, Paul’s God said, “No.” And Paul learned the greatest lesson of his life- God’s strength is made perfect in weakness.
Few are privileged to finish this life understanding their own essential dependence on God. For sure, this weak finish will have passed through many types of pain, including personal betrayal and broken heartedness. Yet as this end appears God slowly removes our self-sufficiency and replaces it with His own sufficiency. He has said that He is enough for us, and when we are truly weakened we can see this to be true. What a blessing to finally realize our dependence on the strength of the Almighty! God is great and God is good!
This blogger writes to encourage faithful Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and purpose to be a part of it. Adonai Eloheinu!