“When I am weak, I am strong.”
This phrase from 2 Corinthians is haunting me. I cannot work out what it means. I cannot work out how it makes any sense. Weakness is not strength. Strength is the absence of weakness, isn’t it? That’s always the idea I had. I am struggling to make my idea of strength fit into the true definition of strength – that id’s definition of strength. Does Paul mean that when I can’t lift anymore weight, that is my greatest moment of strength? Does he mean that when he is weak, that is when GOD is strong? That’s the easiest way to define it, I suppose, but that isn’t what he says. That means I’d have to change a word that is not argued in different translations – when I am weak, I am strong… there is no debate over it.
I don’t have an answer. But I’m hoping someone will, or that maybe a commentary will tell me exactly what is being said, but it has got me thinking.
Lately I have been wrestling with admitting to weaknesses, and all at the same time taking up new responsibilities, adjusting to my newly discovered strengths. In the worldly sense, I find it impossible to reconcile the two. One takes me into the gutter, one takes me to the stage. One takes me to pulling out of ministry, another pushes me further into it. That is, if strength is what I thought it was, and if weakness is what I thought it was.
God is not in the business of selecting perfect people. If he was, then we’d all be looked over without a first thought, let alone a second. God is, however, in the business of making broken people pure in his sight through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and using them to build his church. One of the senior guys of the early church denied Jesus three times in one day – and Jesus didn’t throw him out of the group of disciples, tell him to get better and then come back. God will not neglect me because I struggle. Jesus came for the sick, not for the healthy.
I still don’t understand!
As I write this I’m listening to a podcast from Mosaic church called The Energy Carrier. They make me a little uncomfortable in that their sermons can come across as self help talks more than Bible based sermons, but Steve Saccone might be onto something in what he’s saying right now. He’s talking about how the way we relate to people will be affected by where we draw our strength from. If I draw my strength from God, then I am strong. Maybe that’s it.
In my weakness, that is when I realize I cannot do this on my own. I cannot live the way I’m called to without help. I am weak. It is then that I turn to God and open myself up to him the most. It is then that His strength is what I fall on. He is always strong. But when I am weak, it is when I am strong because it is God than I rely on.
I don’t have a clear answer. But, am I getting somewhere?