My Weakness, Jesus’ Strength
I confess being disabled really stinks! I know I’m not supposed to complain; I am a Christian and a Pastor’s wife, so I should have these negative emotions under control. Most days you will see me with a big cheery smile, but then there are days like today; when I would give just about anything to have a normal body. One with long legs that can not only move me from place to place; but would make me tall so I can reach the upper cupboards in my kitchen. Strong legs that let me use my arms to carry the things I just got out of that cupboard. I dream about the activities most people take for granted, a run in the morning, or a leisurely stroll hand in hand on the beach. Being born with a birth defect means those things might happen but not in the usual way. I plan out my days. What could I need before I am left alone? Something as simple as a tea cup left within reach can make my day. I’m not sharing these thoughts to gain your sympathy. But because everyone has something in their lives that really stinks and they have no more control over it than I do with my Spina-bifida. So we need to find the “where with all” to keep moving, keep fighting the good fight.
In 2 Corinthians Paul speaks right to my heart in chapter 12:9-10 when he said. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul was speaking in the third person so that the readers would keep their attention on Christ and His power, not on Paul, so they wouldn’t think he was boasting about himself. The lesson Paul wanted the Corinthians to hear was not how great he was in his suffering for Christ, but how wonderful it is to have a savior worth suffering for. Jesus came so we could have life and have it to the fullest, despite our weaknesses, despite birth defects, cancer, old age, and pain. We can use these situations to build God’s kingdom or we can let them stop us.
No one could have been further away from Christ than Saul, the persecutor of Christians; and no one was closer to Christ than Paul the redeemed. He spent endless time in prison for Christ and yet he was glad for his weaknesses. Paul said in his own words that God had granted the thorn in his life. Did you hear the word “Granted” he said it as if it was a blessing. That is not a word I would have used all the time, when talking about my disability, and I don’t know if many of you could say that either and feel delighted about it. Although Paul’s life was difficult, he knew that it was all a part of God’s plan; and we need to learn that too; how to respond to life’s issues with complete trust in Jesus even if we don’t see God’s purpose in our afflictions.
We have a choice, we can either, put our faith in Jesus and enjoy each day, or we can sit and feel sorry for ourselves. How we react to our thorns will make a difference for others. That is our mission to show how despite our problems we still lean on Jesus and His saving grace. Thankfully I was blessed by God with the support of my family and husband and this has given me a wonderful life. So even on days like today when I feel like having a pity party, I can see God’s hand in my life. Jesus was right there when I needed Him, and He will be there for you too. So together we can join Paul and say when I am weak, then I am strong.