April 2, 2012
"That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10 (NLT)
The wind blew through my fingers as I held my hand outside the window. The bright sunshine seemed foreign after several days in the small hospital room.
My husband had insisted that I go home. "Take a long bath, babe. Take a nap in a real bed. I've got this."
After four weeks, my world had shrunk to my son's bedside, X-ray rooms, the therapy wing, and a dimly lit cafeteria in the basement. I had no idea how long my son would be in the hospital, or what awaited us when he was released. The doctors used phrases like, "It's uncertain at this time."
Before the drunk driver hit my son, I was strong. It wasn't that my faith hadn't been tested; it had. But this was my child, broken and battered at the hands of another, and I couldn't fix it.
As I drove home, I heard these words deep in my spirit:
When you are weak, you are strong.
That didn't make sense to me. I felt anything but strong.
When I arrived home I took my bath and a nap. Afterwards, I pulled out my Bible and flipped to the verse. And there it was. Paul's words:
"For when I am weak, then I am strong."
The apostle suffered with a "thorn in the flesh." Scripture doesn't tell us what that was exactly, but we do know that it was something he couldn't fix on his own. When he prayed, God reminded Paul that His power comes through when we are at our limits.
There was no mistaking it. Like Paul, I was at my weakest point. As a mom, I wanted nothing more than for my son to be okay and the wreck to be behind us. I wanted my son at home. I was exhausted by long nights on a too-small, too-thin cot, and days of caring for my child as he battled extreme pain.
Yet God was trying to tell me something. Something I hadn't realized until that moment.
I didn't have to be the strong one all the time. While I was caring for my son, God was caring for me.
It took a year of therapy and prayer to make my son well; there were many more weak moments ahead for this momma.
But in each, I paused and I whispered these words:
"When I am weak, then I am strong."
My strength was not found in my own abilities or even my staying power. Instead, I was strong because God sustained me and filled me with His grace in the midst of the battle.
Sometimes, when that period of my life is brought up, friends remark, "Suzie, your faith was so real during that time."
I can't help but remind them that I was far from having it all together. What they were seeing was God's grace and love poured over my weak places.
Are you struggling today? Do you feel weak? Whisper it with me:
"When I am weak, then I am strong."
Dear Lord, thank You that Your grace is all I need. Thank You for Your power in the midst of my weak places. I offer up my need to be the "strong one" and replace it with the knowledge that Your strength is sufficient. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do your weaknesses ever make you doubt you can fulfill God's calling or purpose for your life? A Confident Heart, by Renee Swope, is a great resource to help you stop doubting yourself and start living in the power of God's promises. In it you'll learn how to rely on God's strength and truth in every area of your life.
Join Suzie in her "Live Free" Facebook community to find daily encouragement on how to live free.
To bring the message of this devotion to the women of your church, click here to find out more about Suzie as your next women's event speaker.
Reflect and Respond:
Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up. ~Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening (November 4, Morning).
Today, exchange feelings of defeat for praise. Thank Him for doing what you cannot.
Write down one way that only God can lift you higher than the weak places.
Isaiah 40:31, "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (NIV)
Philippians 4:13, "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (NIV)
© 2012 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.