Broken Life

I’ve been involved in various discussions lately about being weak.  More specifically, about God’s strength within our weaknesses. This idea has brought some uneasiness in our groups.  To me, this brings comfort.  Maybe it’s the word – weak.  It sounds so final, so debilitating.  Maybe if we use a new word, it will be easier to absorb the renewing concept – maybe delicate or hesitant.  It still shows our lack of power, perhaps in a more palatable way.

This idea of weak, yet strong reminds me of the old adage “if you’re ever going to see a rainbow, you’ve got to stand a little rain.”  It is in these low moments of tremendous “rain” that we are able to envision and experience the beauty and power of the rainbow – the promise.  Think back to the most empowering moments in your life, those times when you felt more complete and stalwart than any other moment.  I’ll bet, just before those moments, you experienced some of your more dejected and crestfallen times.  Some of us dwell in that disheartened state for quite a while before we let go, and let God.  When we allow Him into our weaknesses, we find strength.  What keeps us weak (or delicate, or hesitant…) is our inability to fear, love and trust God with all our heart.  We get in our own way.

I am one of those people (and I’m sure I am not alone) who sees myself in terms of my weaknesses.  When asked to describe myself, the first word that comes to mind is “broken.”  It’s just the way I’m wired.  So I’ve learned to live within those constructs.  One of the things that allows me to get out of bed each day, instead of just pulling the covers over my head, is knowing that my brokenness is where new life can start.  If I did not have moments of despair and fear, if I could not witness the brokenness in myself and in the world – then where would my motivation lie to affect change in myself and in the world?  Why would I ever try to be better?  Why would I teach?  Why would I learn?  Why would I gift a world without motivation to my child?

I let my son struggle at times.  Because I truly believe that those are the times that we have the most understanding and greatest power – power that comes from within us, delivered to us by the grace of God.  When we are weak, we are strong through Him.

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.                         
                                                                  2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV)

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