How comfortable are you with being weak? I’m terrible at it. To avoid being weak I will, at all cost, avoid doing things that I am not good at. I have kept myself from reaching above my comfort zone in work, relationships, and writing. If I was not good at communicating with someone, I would not carry on a relationship with them. If I was being critiqued at work in an area I thought I did extremely well, I would pass along the project to someone else. I dread not being good enough. This past week, however, the Lord allowed me to be vulnerable in more ways than I was comfortable with.
The week started with the anniversary of my father’s death, it marked ten years. I was astonished by the time that passed and all he missed in his earthly absence. There were so many different emotions I was feeling that it was hard to keep up. In the past I have always requested this day off work so I can just be to myself. This kept me from having to express to any curious individual why I am quieter than normal, or less social.
This year the Lord gave me the strength to go into work. While at work I found out that I made a mistake on a big project that I would not be able to take control and fix immediately. This problem was out of my hands and I became unglued. This mistake coupled with the bottled feelings of the day came rushing out over the phone to my boss. My boss was so loving to me in the way she told me; she was encouraging and supportive.
I could not stop beating myself up about it. All I could focus on were all the dead ends that kept coming to mind when trying to come up with a solution to the mistake I made. I felt powerless. I felt weak. I felt exposed. Everything I disliked packed into one moment. Did I mention how embarrassed I was? Through tears I expressed to my boss that normally I would never touch a project like that again.
I want to paraphrase what she shared with me, “I want you to rest in this weakness you feel…you do nothing in your own strength. There is no room for pride. We can take no credit for what we do, we have to be humble. Only by the Lord’s grace can we do anything. Rejoice in your weakness, thank Him for your weakness…I am sure you feel like you want to hide, but run to Him, hide yourself in Him.”
When I got off the phone I told the Lord, “Father, I confess I don’t know how to thank you for this weakness, but I thank you. I will thank you for all that You are. Father please forgive me for the prideful state that I was in. In my weakness you are strong, in my areas of weakness you are there guiding me. In the shadow of your wings I want to live because I am a mess when I do this on my own.”
My whole week was one reveal after another of my weakness. He is equipping me and teaching me how to rely on Him alone. I took so much pride in my ability to adapt, to thrive. Where is the reliance on the Lord in those moments? I never took a moment to run to His refuge first. His refuge is where I am safe, I am not strong based on my capabilities or in my human finite thinking. He is my protector and my provider. The world will tell me I am being weak, but that I should be strong. The world can make us feel as though our submission to Christ is out of the inability to be strong on our own. I love what my pastor quoted from a fellow believer this Sunday, “I would rather stand with GOD and be judged by the world, then stand with the world and be judged by GOD”. I don’t want to draw my strength from the approval of man. There is no growth there besides the growth of my pride and dependence on my human thinking.
In the Bible you can read time and time again where God’s people took it upon themselves to go their own way. In their weakness or “strength” they strayed. Even if they wanted to be strong, they could not uphold His law. Their human strength failed them and therefore a High Priest would be needed and sacrifices would be needed in the Old Testament. So much was required. I am thanking and praising Him though because in the New Testament you read about a man named Jesus who came and dwelt among us. He became the High Priest, He became the ultimate sacrifice. He was the Lamb of God, He fulfilled every law. “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do,” (Romans 8:3). God knew we were not capable of living a life perfect and without blame. He saw our weakness. He could have left us and started over, He could have left us as the sinners we were, BUT, He made a way. This is why I must rejoice in my circumstances, even the ones from this past week. I don’t have to make up for any area I lack, He is my all in all.
I love what Paul says in 2 Corinthians, “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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong,” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
All for His glory