It had been one of those weeks, the kind that just needed to end already. The girls had been particularly needy, and my patience had been running even lower than usual. On top of this, I just felt kind of “blah” and didn’t feel any motivation or focus when it came to work or getting things done around the house. Just the thought of coming up with something to make for dinner made me want to hide in the corner.
I felt weak.
It seems like I’ll experience a period of time when things are going really well and I feel energized and motivated and like I can take on the world…but it doesn’t last. Eventually, it seems like I hit a wall and I’m confronted yet again by how weak and broken I am and just how far I have to go.
So in the middle of an emotional breakdown, complete with tears and frustration, I asked God why I just couldn’t seem to get it together.
Why did I so often feel like a broken mess? Was I doing something wrong?
But when I brought these questions to God, here is what I feel like God told me: Stop treating weakness like it’s a temporary season.
This is not what I wanted to hear, of course. I was okay with feeling weak for a season, but I thought that surely at some point I’d feel strong again.
It’s like I would go through this cycle: I would feel weak, so I’d go to God to get my strength renewed. But then, I would fight my way out of the place of weakness, trying to be strong again, only to come crashing down once more when I reached the end of my strength.
I was allowing my weakness to take me by surprise. I was treating weakness like it was something that was only temporary, that I could fight through it and pull myself back out of it eventually.
But God never asked me to be strong.
What if we are never meant to leave the place of weakness?
God cannot be our strength if we insist on relying on our OWN strength. It’s only when we embrace our weakness that God’s strength can take over.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says this: “But he [Jesus] 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…For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Honestly? Boasting in weakness doesn’t sound like much fun. I’d much rather focus on my strengths and hide my weaknesses. But this passage tells us that when we ask Jesus to remove our weakness, our HUMANNESS, he tells us that HE is enough, so that we don’t have to be.
It’s only when we fully recognize how weak we are that Christ’s power can come in and fill in our many gaps.
God is not surprised or shocked at my weakness. He created me. He knows that I am only human.
There’s a line in the hymn “Jesus Paid It All” that says:
Child of weakness, watch and pray
Find in me thine all in all
The song doesn’t say, “child of weakness, get it together.” Or, “child of weakness, what’s wrong with you?”
No, it says: “child of weakness, watch and pray.” Be still. Seek God. Find everything you need in HIM.
God wants us to grow and change, of course. This is not about resigning ourselves to being failures or staying in our sin. This is about recognizing that OUR strength will never be what changes us. We have to let go of our striving so that the power of Jesus can take over.
So this is what I’m doing these days:
I’m not getting freaked out or surprised when I run into my weakness. I’m not beating myself up over it or telling myself to get it together. Instead, I’m meeting Jesus in the place of my weakness.
I have found so much freedom in this. When I embrace my weakness, it allows me to let go of striving. I don’t have to try so hard, because I don’t have the strength to live the life God is calling me to. Only HE can live it through me.
I don’t have to keep trying to pull myself up or get it together. Because that’s not what God is asking me to do.
He is inviting me to sit down beside him in the mess of my weakness, rather than trying to fight and climb my way out of it. To simply sit with Him, stop trying so hard, and receive HIS grace and power. This is the only way to grow and change.
We are weak, but He is strong. It’s only when we embrace this truth that we will be truly set free.