“‘My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.’ Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, MSG
In the NIV version, it says, “I boast in my weaknesses”. I cringe at the words. What kind of person would say such a thing? A show-off? Why would anyone invite, glory in, celebrate pain and weakness? I’ve been in pain for far too long, I said to the Great Being. I’m looking to avoid hardship. I’m sick of weakness. I tried to ignore the herculean effort of a single thought that reminded me pain is guaranteed in this broken world. Where is the space for joy?
He rejoices because there’s a way through, God said again, His voice patient and kind—more than I deserved just then—unafraid, not put off by my bitterness. He learned to trust me, trust my redemption, he wasn’t afraid of the pain or hardship anymore, God continued.
Redemption—the word stuck in me. I know it well. I’ve been redeemed, saved, brought back to life, whatever term you want to give it. Before I was walking dead, now I burn hot with life. But Death hasn’t stopped trying to knock down my door and I have only one defense.
I am safe the minute I invite God into the dark, stinking truth of my weakness. Sometimes my invitation is a ranting shout of the ugly truth. Sometimes I wail it out, like a mourner. But each time, in my humble ask—my gut-level cry for His help and my faith that He will not forsake me—He comes.
Every. Single. Time.
He walks straight into the middle of my weakness, those broken places where my neural pathways are so twisted I can’t see reality right in front of my face. His hand reaches into the epicenter of those wounded places where I’ve been hurt deep. His scars heal mine.
I no longer have to be afraid of my hurts, habits, and hangups (as we say in Celebrate Recovery). They won’t overtake me. God will meet me in that moment. There was, there is, there always will be, a way through, He says again with full kindness.
There is great power in recounting those times God has broken through. What is a time God showed you a way through? Is there a place you wish God would step into?