It emanates from us, pervading everything we touch, staining everything we set our heart upon. We hallow strength and don its vestiges, but it was never ours to take… we simply slip on a guise and rob glory from another, the One from Whom all power finds its source.
Though weakness bears our scorn and we cast it off as a worthless thing, our Father treasures it. If we want strength, if we want to bear His glory, there is a way – through weakness.
“But [the Lord] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…’” 2 Corinthians 12:9a
Picture your Beloved Lord on the cross. Let your mind sift out a few verbs from Isaiah 53 to paint Him there, in your mind’s eye – marred, stricken, smitten, afflicted, despised, rejected, pierced, crushed – as one whom men hide their faces from.
That word ‘perfected’ in 2 Corinthians 12:9 shares the same root as the final word spoken by Jesus on the cross when he cried, “It is finished (perfected/completed/fulfilled)!” With this one word, Paul is reaching across to the Gospels and tying the very power of God that carried Jesus through His anguish on the cross to the very same power of God carrying us today. The way through for Jesus is also our way through – the power of God manifest through our weakness and dependency.
Though our Lord Jesus was God when He walked the earth, He was also fully Man. He was no less dependent on the Father than we are, in fact, He was more dependent. He never once, in all His trials, acted independently of the Father. Jesus was not ashamed of weakness; He embraced it, allowing the power of God to accomplish, in and through Him, the redemption of mankind.
That same power that bore Jesus through to the perfection and completion of His obedience and ministry is the same power working in us today, in and through our weakness, bearing us through to His end.
“For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.” 2 Corinthians 13:4
On the other side of the cross there is always resurrection. We are carried through death and into Life! That is why Paul finishes the verse in 2 Corinthians 12:9 by saying, “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
Are we most glad about our weaknesses, confidently assured of His faithfulness to bring us through death and into life? God is an opportunist, leaving no opportunity unmined, bringing forth gold from every stony place in our lives. He knows our frame; He remembers that we are but dust. Do you dare embrace this season you are in, with all its impossibility, and look at your circumstances through the eyes of Him Who works all things – ALL THINGS – together for your good?
Take a moment and come to Him like a child. Pause and let the wonder of His sovereignty and humility wash over you. Thank Him, in faith, for the trials you are facing, have faced and will face, knowing His power is accomplishing in and through you what you could never do. He is bringing you into Life.