In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul tells about "begging God" to take away a "thorn" in his life. We're not told what the thorn was, but Paul tells us that it made him feel "weak." So he had a conversation with God about it and God said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness." (vs. 9). Paul goes on in vs. 10 and says, "This is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, I am strong."
"For when I am weak, I am strong?" What's THAT all about? How's that compute in real life? Surely it's the least-quoted verse in all the Bible. We would respond to the contrary, "When I pray, I'm strong." Or, "When I do a good deed, I am strong." Or, "When I read a good book, or a chapter in the Bible, or hear a good sermon, or enjoy some music on Spotify from my favorite Christian artist, I am strong."
Paul flips "strength" on its head and says, "Nope, when I'm weak." Not all that other stuff. Not when I'm esteemed or respected. Not when I'm listened to. Not when I'm admired. Not when I'm comfortable financially. Not when I'm in great shape physically. Not when the future looks bright. Not when I don't have a care in the world."
Nope. Paul says, "It's when I'm weak." When I feel like there's nothing left in the tank. When life is totally underwhelming. When the future looks scary and friends are scarce. When criticism is incessant. When people disappoint. When everything feels shaky. Paul says, "Good! Now I'm ready to depend on God. For real."
Here's his lesson in a nutshell. You don't really know how strong you are, until you know how weak you are. (You might want to read that two or three times, at least!) His power isn't made "perfect" in you until you're in touch with ALL your weaknesses. When you admit them. When you acknowledge them. When you're not afraid to face them, and when you're willing to ask God to help you do so.
Dear one, usually you have to experience a breaking before you experience a breakthrough, and often not until. "For when I am weak, then I am strong." Want a verse to put on your refrigerator? Hey, try that one. It's got some real street cred in the Kingdom of God. As Jesus put it, "Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 5:3).
Jesus described himself only once in all of scripture. You know what He said? He said, "...I am meek and lowly in heart." What?! You're the most famous man in recorded history Jesus! That speaks of relevance, magnitude, substance, significance! What's with all the "humble" stuff? You're God, for cryin' out loud. How can you possibly be meek?
It doesn't compute, does it. But it's true. Thank God (literally) for meekness. It isn't weakness; it's being like Jesus. Let's not make it more than that, but let's certainly not make it less.
So...Paul got it. "When I am weak, then I am strong." Make that your verse today...and tomorrow...and the next day...and the next. You can do it, that is, unless you're afraid to (and most are, you know). Afraid of weakness. Afraid of vulnerability. Afraid of not knowing the answers to all the questions. Afraid of not winning. Afraid of pain, confusion, and all the other stuff that sometimes comes when we stop trying to coach ourselves into being Superman or Wonder Woman...those "more than enough" kinds of people. Frankly, I find all of it exhausting.
By the way, friend, you really aren't "more than enough." Neither am I; not even close. You don't have to be, you know. Just be you, warts and all. If people think you're weak, say "amen" to yourself and enjoy the journey. You're following some pretty "meek" and "weak" people--Jesus, and Paul, to name a couple...and along the way you'll have all the strength God wants you to have, and THAT alone, will ALWAYS be enough.
Be blessed, weak one. Be blessed.