There’s a verse in the Bible that says that God’s power is made strong in weakness. Shortly afterward, the author of the book (2 Corinthians), cheerfully announces that he is strong when he is weak.
For quite some time, these verses frustrated me, because that makes no logical sense. If you’re weak, you’re weak, right? And if you’re strong, you’re strong. How can you be both at the same time?!
In my case, God chose to take a hands-on lesson with this one.
I believe I’d had the mentality that I was just this really awesome person crediting God. So I’m walking down the street, being good and things like that, and people are thinking “Wow, you’re doing great!” and I respond, “Oh, it’s all God!”
The problem with this mentality is that it makes it seem as though I am the one who made myself strong, or good, or faithful, or that I taught myself that really difficult lesson, when actually quite the contrary occurs. I am the student, not the Teacher. I am the servant, not the Master. God’s participation in the entire ordeal is so much more than just a flippant “Oh yeah, and God helped!”
Instead, God brought me to a time when I was weak, when I was hurting, when I was confused… but I still had responsibilities going on. I couldn’t just drop everything and wait until I “made myself” awesome/cool/good/helpful again. I was weak. But God is always, always strong.
1 Corinthians 1:25 says that God’s weakness is stronger than man’s strength. So imagine the contrast between my weakness and His strength. It’s rather great.
What I learned here is that when you’re weak, when you’re empty- that’s the greatest opportunity for God to show His strength, which, as stated before, is much more powerful than our strength, let alone our weakness.
So when I’m struggling through the week, when I’m crying ,when I’m hurting, when I’m weak, God is filling me up and radiating His strength through me. And there’s no way I can claim that it’s my doing.
That being said, I don’t think we’re called to be in a constant state of deep pain and desperation. I don’t believe God’s constantly beating us down so He can feel cool. He is a loving and just God, after all. But when we are in those times of weakness, we learn several things (though this list is not exhaustive). We learn to trust. We learn to be patient. We learn to persevere. But quite importantly, we learn humility.
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!
“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
What happened when the Son of God humbled Himself? Basically, God used Him to save the world. He “made Himself nothing,” and He lovingly saved an undeserving world.
May our attitudes be the same as His, that God may radiate His strength through us.