2 Corinthians 12:9-11New International Version (NIV)
9 But He said to me, “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.10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I used to think that this verse meant that when i feel kind of low, God will use me mightily for His Kingdom. And so, thinking along these lines whenever things got really bad and i felt really weak and nothing happened, i slowly became disillusioned. Was i not weak enough? Were the hardships not hard enough for God to work through me? Were i not going through more than enough difficulties? Where was my strong part?
Well, it took a really big 4x4 to help me see my error in thinking or misbelief as i like to call them.....
We live out here far from good car help. So we have to be creative until things can be fixed proeperly! Our car is a wonderful old Land Cruiser - part of our family really! But 24 years and 300 000+ km does make a mark on any good solid car. The latest old age twinge is that The Starter gets stuck. So now I cannot go anywhere by myself because if it does get stuck someone needs to disconnect the batteries and then do all kinds of monkey mechanics to unstuck it. Sadly my CV does not show much in terms of car maintenance....so i need someone clued up to drive around with me. I can drive the car, do my errands, go where i want to go but i do have to have someone with me who knows his stuff! I am totally at a loss in this area and need help.
It kind of snuck up on me that this is a perfect lesson in weakness versus strength. And i also noticed something quite profound - something that knocked and winded my misbelief right in the stomach!
If the starter does get stuck, i will get out and try and be helpful (maybe even take a few pictures :) ) but the work AND the glory will go to whoever gets it unstuck! The focus will not be me. I will be the helper in the car. If i tell the story afterwards it won't be about me being so weak and not knowing what to do. It will be about a clever husband or teenage boy who came to me rescue, a man or boy who was strong For me. (I am not a pathetic female in case you wonder but am making a point here that i need help!)
In any case, this is where i had it wrong all the time. I was waiting for God to do great things through me, by me and myself doing them, while in dire straits! Notice my focus...me. And my. I tenaciously kept being, or trying to be, strong because i was so weak! How weird is that?
I can only be strong because i know God is here right beside me. He is doing it. He is helping and i need to give Him all the glory and thanks! I need God and not glory for myself in hard times.
This is a good lesson to learn right now in one of the most difficult times of my life. I need God's healing Grace. I need His Power which is being made perfect in my weakness. It is not about me being strong but to acknowledge that He is the Strong one and lean on that. That without Him i am nothing. But only with Him am i complete!
It is not about in those weak times that God is going to work and do great things through you - it is about surrendering in those times to let God figure it out, help you stand up again - it is about what God is doing IN me and not THROUGH me. Only in weakness will i know where my real Strength comes from. Relying on Him and not myself. Trusting, resting, believing.