The Hope and Purpose of Weakness.

Scribbled in my journal during a very dark time in life last year.  God taught me much through this lesson and I wanted to share.

“If I were to be honest, no matter how much I claim to want my own sanctification, and to be more like Christ, the Holy Spirit is revealing in my own heart that I really only want this if it is convenient, at least relatively convenient.  I don’t mind being bother by my own sanctification process, in fact I want to pursue it!  however when this process involves, pain, suffering, trials, or a great revealing of my own weakness, I start to recoil.  I arch my back, and my prayer immediately shifts from ‘God, please make me like your Son’ or ‘God, please smash the idols of my heart’ to ‘God, please relieve me from this painful trial I’m in.  My focus is no longer on the life-long process of God transforming me into my new identity, but my focus is simply reduced to my own comfort, which in turn reveals the motive for my original desires for change and growth to begin with. 

I despise my weakness. I hate how my continued self-awareness and insecurities rise up and how I feel eternally stunted in my growth at times.  

Paul writes in II Cor. 12:8-10:
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this (his ‘thorn in the flesh’), that it should leave me.  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 weakness 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.”

Ironic, the very things I have despised for revealing my human weakness is the very thing that reveals the strength of Christ, he is made strong in my weakness.  How I wish I could, like the Apostle Paul, embrace and be ‘content’ or as other versions say ‘delight‘ in my weaknesses because they remind me of a constant, true reality about myself: I am at every moment of my existence, thoroughly weak and desperately dependent on my Maker.  

I have fought for so many years to convince myself and others that i have no weaknesses, that I am strong, and capable and confident all the while this message has spun only one thing: make much of me! And yet, God in his severe mercy and providential grace has allowed ‘thorns’ to keep me close to him.  Painfully aware of my absolute need of Him in every way.  I am but dust that has been chosen and redeemed.  Anything good or worthy in me is only attributed to Christ.  May He increase, and I decrease (John. 3:30).

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