I don’t want to be weak. I don’t want to struggle. I don’t like being ignorant of the answers to life’s questions, or struggling to understand something I should already know. I hate weakness. I fight it. I want to be strong. I push myself to succeed, I work to become better so that I can do life on my own.
Our culture tells me that I’m doing the right thing. I need to be independent, I need to do it all on my own. I need to support myself, I need to be emotionally stable, I need to be educated, and I need to be popular and accepted and have all the right friends and all the while act as if I’m not even trying. Aside from all this, there’s the unexpected and very real hardships of life that come out of nowhere and demand attention that I don’t have. Then, I have to pull it all off with a no-big-deal attitude, and its gets discouraging because I always fail.
I’m never strong enough for the waves that come over me. I always end up too deep, too busy, and too caught up in things that don’t matter and things that don’t bring the joy that I’m searching for. It’s like a cycle that I go through. I work to do the right thing, everything is good for a while, and then suddenly I become overwhelmed with my weakness again, and start it all over. I work to be strong, and run from the very thing that I need to embrace.
I am weak, and that’s exactly where I need to be. I am dependent, I am needy, I am broken and fallen and in need of grace every single moment. I need to die to my desire to be strong on my own. I need to be weak, because that’s where Christ shows me His strength.
Paul says in Galatians that anyone who believes himself to be something when he is nothing deceives himself. Fighting to become something, striving to feel better about myself, and trying to believe that I am better than I actually am is just me battling against the truth of my need for grace.
I want grace. I want God’s favor in my life. I want His peace and I want to believe in His promise to be faithful to me. But since I am weak, and in my weakness I want to be in control, He has to take me through all kinds of storms to show me the truth. He has to show me the difference between my abilities, and His abilities. He has to continually point out the truth of my weakness and His strength and love and mercy and grace that is continually being poured out for me. The process is hardly ever fun.
It’s all an issue of focus. When my focus is on my problems instead of my Savior, I misunderstand what’s actually going on. I think that God has abandoned me since I am facing trials. I begin to doubt His strength and the cycle begins again.
When I turn and face my Savior, my problems become so much smaller because I see the strength that I can have in Him. I understand that sanctification is actually what is happening. I begin to learn that His grace abounds in the deepest waters because that’s where I am fully aware of my weakness and that’s where I can finally understand the greatness of my Father.
My new mission is to find joy in the storms. I want to strive after weakness so that I can rest in His strength. I want to face the fact that I am nothing so I can trust in Him who is everything. I want to welcome the waves because I know the one who created them and I know that He can carry me through them.
“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