Friday, April 30, 2010

Being Weak

I was talking to my Mother today about a quote which points out how we are all equal in sleep... the rich, the poor, the weak, the strong..... we all need sleep and are equal in this need.... none of us can live without it... we don't have infinite strength, like God, who is the only One who never needs to sleep, but we are weak beings, created to rest as much as work.

I've been thinking recently about the fact that i'm a weak person. In pretty much every respect. Physically, i'm very weak, and can do about a tenth of what the average person can do... even when i'm not having seizures. And i think i'm pretty weak in most other areas too... i'm hyper-sensitive, easily worry and get easily overwhelmed with life.. generally speaking i am weak. My Church pastor even told me this, not in a negative way at all, he said it graciously, but still he said that i would fall into the 'weak' category. I've been thinking about how much the world makes out weakness to be a bad thing... in many ways i wish i wasn't so weak.. but the thing is, the only strength that really counts for anything is the strength that is in God. So what if i had the physical strength of a body-builder, or the mental-strength of a high-flying business man, or the emotional-strength of a paramedic... if this strength doesn't come from God, if it doesn't serve God, then it's all meaningless. In Micah 6.8, it says that what God requires of us is "to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God".... there is no mention of strength there... no mention of working a certain amount of hours... it's all to do with your heart and your attitudes.... you could be the weakest person on earth and still fulfill those requirements, and still live in a pleasing way to God.

The thing i realised too, is that sometimes 'strong' people can look at those who are weak in a negative way... like they think that somehow they are better than them, like they think that the strength they have is due to their own greatness, due to their own merit..... i realised, that i feel upset when people write weak people off, as if somehow they think they should know how to be stronger.... What the strong people don't seem to realise is, that they can't boast in their strength.... everything we are and everything we have is a gift... any strength we have comes from God, and if it's not coming from God, then it's not worth having anyway..... and God chooses to give to people differently, according to what He sees as fit... according to His good purpose... according to His plans... Some people are weak, some people are stronger... but God is infinitely wise and designs it this way, so that we know how to work together, how to rely on one another, how to be a proper body, how to support each other... how to use this different appointing of strength as a vessel for His love and mercy and grace...and most importantly so we continue to rely on Him.

And the other thing is, according to the Bible, it's not physical strength that counts anyway.... not even strength of spirit... God says "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"..... And He says that "the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Neh 8.10)... and such joy comes directly from God, not from us.... it says that "His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor His pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, those who hope in His steadfast love." (Psalm 147.10-11) It says that "'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... For when i am weak, then i am strong." (2 Cor 12.9-11) That's an incredible statement... "When i am weak, then i am strong." And i guess it is real and true because Christ lives IN us... and Christ is the strongest person in the universe... Christ IS strength.... no matter how weak or strong we feel, no matter what we are like, we have complete strength in Christ, because His strength dwells in us... we might not 'feel' it in the ways we think we should, we might not even know how to recognise it, because it is so different to worldly strength, but i believe it is true none-the-less. I am weak... utterly, completely, helplessly weak... yet I am strong... infinitely, completely strong in Christ...not because of anything in my human nature, but just because Christ lives in me.... and that is the only strength i really want. It's hard to learn the depth of our own weakness... i actually think it's a pretty painful process... and i'll admit that it's frustrating to be so limited in what you feel you can do... it's so different to what we expect of ourselves and what the world teaches us... but i'm so glad that God doesn't disregard the weak, but has affection for them, and tenderly cares for them.... infact, i reckon that there is a kind of grace given to us when we graciously accept what we are not, and simply trust in what God is. After all, it's far better to put our trust in God, than in ourselves... and the weaker we are, the more we realise that we truly need Him and can only live through and by Him.

The most beautiful thing though, is that God doesn't leave the weak as they are. Even though being weak enables us to rely on God more, He still promises that in the end "those who wait for the Lord will renew their strength" (Isa 40.31) God transforms all things, and promises so much good to those who are weak and humbly put their hope in Him... I'm so grateful for this.

1 comment:

Jeni Whitchurch said...

YES! This is so true and so well written. God is giving you such powerful insight into the mysteries of His grace through your life. Thanks for sharing things I sometimes take for granted/have never really discovered/or have forgotten! You've a very strong faith and perseverance - that takes great strength and it's inspiring. Love the 'underneath' verse. xx