Today's guest post comes from Youssef Iskander - a high school student living just outside Toronto, who has guest posted before. Despite being young in age, Youssef displays quite a bit of maturity as he writes about our need to embrace not just our strengths in life, but also our weaknesses. If you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
"And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10
I find that we constantly lament our weaknesses when we compare ourselves to others. "I wish I was that good at…." "I wish I was as smart as…."
In short, we despise our weaknesses.
The thing is, that is exactly the opposite of what we are called to do. As Christians, when we recognize the strength of being weak, we become invincible.
Our strengths are gifts from God that we usually thank him for… our weaknesses should also be thanked for. A quick look through the Bible shows that God often used the weak to show forth HIS strength.
Think of David and Goliath. Had God chosen a mighty warrior to represent Him, the credit would have been given to that man, not God. However, because God used David, we were able to see the source of his strength, who is God.
Look also at Abraham. He was old, but was chosen to be the father of many nations, and not to mention to be the father of Isaac whom he had at a very old age. Gideon too had a weak personality but was chosen by God to be a leader and judge of the Israelites. Moses was not strong in speech but was chosen to be God's mediator to the people of Israel and their leader. Peter denied Jesus, but was chosen to be an apostle and confess Christ to kings and rulers.
The secret to all their success is the same: where we are strong, we become confident and don't allow God to show himself. We begin to rely on ourselves. Weakness inspires us to turn towards the source of all strength.
God's strength in comparison to ours is the difference between the size of pebble and the size of the universe (infinite). When we rely on our own strength, we limit ourselves to our limited strength. But when we allow God to use his strength, we are supported by the hand that holds the universe intact.
That is what St. Paul realized. He found that when he is weak, God intervenes to show his strength through our weakness.
I believe weakness is a blessing. Weakness inspires us to kneel and ask for help, something strength leads us to believe we don't need. I've seen first hand God's strength compared to mine, and once your eyes are opened to that, you can't help but rely on Him.
It's sad sometimes that God is so willing to lend us his strength, but we, in our pride, choose to rely on ourselves. Our strongest is God's absolute weakest - as St. Paul says, "The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." (1 Corinthians 1:25)
Rejoice in weakness. Embrace it. God has given you a gift that you can use. We might think that God gives us weaknesses to cripple us. But I believe that God has given us each weakness so that we may allow him to work in us and through us.
Because when we are weak, that is when the strength of Almighty compliments our weakness. You can't get any stronger than that!