These last few weeks have shown me what tremendous human weakness amounts to. Being an elderly senior, and just getting over a critical illness, shows me what serious weakness can be like. I have never felt so weak and useless as I recover from this illness. How can God use me now? How can I help anyone now? I must admit that this is one thought that I find difficult.
The apostle Paul also felt weak and useless at times, complaining that he had a thorn in his life that weakened him. We don't know what that was, but somehow, I think that it had to do with the people in the church at Corinth who thought that they knew better and wouldn't listen to him. They saw his faults; they saw him as a weak man.
2 Corinthians 12:9 – 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. (ESV)
Like Paul, my true being does not let me use my weakness as an excuse to do nothing. Also, my weakness removes me from a self-righteous, do-gooder, boasting frame of mind. On the other hand, it prevents a self-deprecating sort of feeling: "I am not strong enough for God to use me anymore, right? I am too old. He sees too many problems in me to use me now for His glory. Other people around me are better than I am. God will use them instead of poor little me." Yes, I know. None of this sounds right. Has it been the sin of self-pride controlling me all these years?
Why does God reach out to us when we are down, when muscles can hardly keep one upright? When I feel really good, I expect God to use me, for I bring glory to Him. But no. That is not right either. With that attitude, I don't bring glory to God. It is His glory that lifts me up. It is all too much for me to do. Do you see the implication? I see me as doing it all and taking pride in who I am and what I can do, but none of that is Christ-likeness.
God blesses humility. As the Holy Spirit picks us up, that is where our weakness comes in. It reminds us of our need for God's strength to accomplish anything for Him. Our need, honestly expressed, opens the door for God's grace. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
Prayer: O Lord, we do need You. Without Your Spirit strengthening us, we are nothing. You are our strength. You are our love. We open to You as each muscle pain disappears in Your healing. Strength fills our bodies with wondrous light as Your love fills our souls with peace. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "God Sees The Little Sparrow Fall" (Lyrics)