"That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10 (NLT)The wind blew through my fingers as I held my hand outside the window. The bright sunshine seemed foreign after several days in the small hospital room.
My husband had insisted that I go home. "Take a long bath, babe. Take a nap in a real bed. I've got this."
After four weeks, my world had shrunk to my son's bedside, X-ray rooms, the therapy wing, and a dimly lit cafeteria in the basement. I had no idea how long my son would be in the hospital, or what awaited us when he was released. The doctors used phrases like, "It's uncertain at this time."
Before the drunk driver hit my son, I was strong. It wasn't that my faith hadn't been tested; it had. But this was my child, broken and battered at the hands of another, and I couldn't fix it.
As I drove home, I heard these words deep in my spirit:
When you are weak, you are strong.
That didn't make sense to me. I felt anything but strong.
When I arrived home I took my bath and a nap. Afterwards, I pulled out my Bible and flipped to the verse. And there it was. Paul's words:
"For when I am weak, then I am strong."
The apostle suffered with a "thorn in the flesh." Scripture doesn't tell us what that was exactly, but we do know that it was something he couldn't fix on his own. When he prayed, God reminded Paul that His power comes through when we are at our limits.
There was no mistaking it. Like Paul, I was at my weakest point. As a mom, I wanted nothing more than for my son to be okay and the wreck to be behind us. I wanted my son at home. I was exhausted by long nights on a too-small, too-thin cot, and days of caring for my child as he battled extreme pain.
Yet God was trying to tell me something. Something I hadn't realized until that moment.
I didn't have to be the strong one all the time. While I was caring for my son, God was caring for me.
It took a year of therapy and prayer to make my son well; there were many more weak moments ahead for this momma.
But in each, I paused and I whispered these words:
"When I am weak, then I am strong."
My strength was not found in my own abilities or even my staying power. Instead, I was strong because God sustained me and filled me with His grace in the midst of the battle.
Sometimes, when that period of my life is brought up, friends remark, "Suzie, your faith was so real during that time."
I can't help but remind them that I was far from having it all together. What they were seeing was God's grace and love poured over my weak places.
Are you struggling today? Do you feel weak? Whisper it with me:
"When I am weak, then I am strong."
I can't imagine how difficult it must be to go through the illness of a child but I do know that as we have battled the health difficulties over the past few months I have often felt out of control and exhausted. Those around me often comment how strong I must be and I appear to have it together but underneath its hard. I struggle with showing how weak I really am because I feel like that will make me a failure, that this is the battle that's been laid before me and so I should accept this piece of suffering joyfully. I almost feel guilty and selfish for complaining because I know others have it much worse and if this is part of Gods journey for me then I should rejoice. The reality though is that I am human, our circumstances have been hard and any person facing the same situation as us would feel wiped out and done. This article helped me realize its ok to feel week and not always have it all together, that when I am weak He is strong and in those moments where I am most desperate I allow the power of Christ to step in and move.
Dear Lord, thank You that Your grace is all I need. Thank You for Your power in the midst of my weak places. I offer up my need to be the "strong one" and replace it with the knowledge that Your strength is sufficient. In Jesus' Name, Amen.