Boasting Weakness

While hiking Qumran, I was amazed how these beautiful flowers seemed to grow in the midst of the desert.

While hiking Qumran, I was amazed how these beautiful flowers seemed to grow in the midst of the desert.

 I begged the Lord three times to take this problem away from me. But the Lord said, “My grace is all you need. Only when you are weak can everything be done completely by my power.” So I will gladly boast about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can stay in me. – 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (ERV)

Once a month, our community – Withness Community has a prayer service. Planning and leadership for the prayer service rotates among participants. The form varies from month-to-month. This month, Youngest volunteered to plan and lead the service. I admit, I thought this might mean that I was going to plan it.

But Youngest planned the service several days in advance, and I offered only minor suggestions when we looked at it together. His theme was grace and he moved us from reflections and prayers of humility and trusting in God for strength to prayers of thanksgiving.

As we were reflecting on the first passage, I became aware of how far I am from boasting about my weaknesses. The truth is that I don’t like to be weak – and I do almost everything I can to avoid it. But another truth is that we all find ourselves weak at points in our lives. But even at these times, I don’t really want to acknowledge my weakness.

When I admit I am weak, I have two choices. I can either try to gut it out on my own (which includes ignoring my weakness) or I can trust God in the midst of my weakness.

 But what does it mean if I don’t trust God?

My unwillingness to be weak denies God’s sovereignty and the power of God’s grace. It becomes a form of idolatry, as I trust in my own strength rather than God’s strength. What does it say about my faith when I refuse to be weak so that God’s power can be made known in me? Or when I trust myself more than I trust God?

I wasn’t expecting the service to stay with me all week. But it has. I’ve been thinking a lot about why it is so difficult for me to accept my weakness. And in the trenches of day-to-day living, how difficult it is to really believe and live like God’s grace is enough.  Thank you Youngest who led us and those who gathered in prayer Monday night.  Thank you Jesus for the grace that has the power to overcome sin, death and every weakness.  Lord, teach me how to accept your all-sufficient grace so that I may boast of you in the midst of my weakness.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

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