Weakness and Strength

I thought this morning I’d share one of my favorite poems. This poem is by Ken Gire in his book, Windows of the Soul:
Help me, God
To realize it is in being crippled that I learn to cling,
and in limping that I learn to lean,
that victory comes not in how courageously I struggle,
but in how completely I surrender,
and that this is how I am to grow,
by being defeated,
decisively,
by constantly greater things.
Help me to understand that Your power is perfected in weakness,
so that when I am rendered weak,
You are given the opportunity to be shown strong.
Help me to understand, too,
that “more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of,
for so the whole round earth is every way
bound in gold chains about the feet of God…”
I love this poem because I recognize that in “it is in being crippled that I learn to cling, and in limping that I learn to lean.” The struggles in my life have only served to cause me to work out my faith and how to live it. God has taught me so much through difficulty that the difficulties seem like blessings.
I used to wonder about the following verse:
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
It never made sense to me that “when I am weak I am strong” because, I don’t know about anyone else, but when I am “weak,” I fall apart and get anxious, scared, upset, and “ugly.” But after I had been through a few difficulties, I began to realize that when I am overwhelmed and can no longer “cope” with difficulties, I become strong because I recognize my inability to deal with the situation and let God have control.
During my struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I began to understand that sometimes God gives what I call “strangely wrapped gifts.” These gifts don’t come as a person expects them to come. They don’t have pretty wrapping paper or beautiful ribbons. They can come wrapped in sickness, disappointment, illness, rejection. There’s not much appealing about them. But when they are unwrapped with understanding they result in greater faith, greater love, greater wisdom, greater growth. THEN they become beautiful.
As Andrew Murray wrote:
The Christian often tries to forget his weakness: God wants us to remember it, to feel it deeply. The Christian wants to conquer his weakness and to be freed from it: God wants us to rest and even rejoice in it. The Christian mourns over his weakness: Christ teaches His servant to say, “I take pleasure in infirmities; most gladly will I glory in my infirmities.” The Christian thinks his weakness his greatest hindrance in the life and service of God: God tells us that it is the secret of strength and success. It is our weakness, heartily accepted and continually realized, that gives us our claim and access to the strength of Him who has said, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
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