Embracing Weakness as Strength

Carissa Thinking Church

I always wanted to be a heroine. As a child, I valued nobility and strength––fighting a lurking fear of insignificance by forging an ironclad sense of individuality.

I always worked to present an image of excellence––pushing my way through college in three years and maintaining a plate overflowing with responsibilities.

I always felt secure in the safe zone of risk-free vulnerability––sharing general “struggles” with no real cost and intact self-protection.

But pretenses of perfection fall away at the end of the day, and I face the truth.

I am weak.

In a whirlwind of uncertainty and change, I see new dimensions of my sin daily. Awareness of my personal weakness brings deep-seated fears to the surface.

I fear my sin will cause wildfire devastation, that joy is a temporary illusion, that God’s love will pale when matched with the force of self-idolatry.

I fear that trust in Scripture’s truth is a crutch, that self-deception trumps the Holy Spirit, and that His way for me is unnecessarily steep.

I fear being alone, being forgotten, being forgettable.

It’s not pretty. It’s not Facebook-worthy.

My identity is in Christ, but wrapped in weakness like flesh, I wrestle.

More than a transient pick-me-up, I need the grace of Christ to anchor my soul moment by moment. My fears are met with the comfort of His presence, as He promises to provide all I need in the eternal person of Christ.

Though I fear showing the weakness in my soul to others, Christ has seen all of it, and His light has shone into the darkest corners of my heart. In His light, I see light––I see hope. In the darkest seasons and the deepest self-doubt, He remains.

He is for me, even when I am my own worst enemy. I am unsteady as the waves, but He is the One who calms tumultuous seas. Peace is in His hand.

Draw near, and see His comfort. See the wake of redemptive power and worship in astonishment. Any strength I have is derived from Him, and apart from Him I’m lost.

“When it comes to identity, modern people have things completely back to front: Professing to be unsure of God, they pretend to be sure of themselves. Followers of Christ put things the other way around: Unsure of ourselves, we are sure of God.” –Os Guinness

When “I don’t know” is the ready answer on my lips, it can always be followed with “but I know God is.”

Unsure of myself, I am sure of Him. He is a Rock, and I am stormy weather.

My weakness is all I have in my finite self. My worth, though, is endowed graciously through the gospel of abundance. The Lord promises His presence, and His joy is my strength.

Christ died for my sin and manifold weakness so I’d have hope in His strength and not mine.

His strength gives me courage to leave my broken cisterns of independence, my fear of commitment, my propensity to anxiety, and rest, abide, delight. His grace is all-sufficient, and because He is for me, I can embrace weakness as strength.

“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 weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” ––2 Cor. 12:9