July 26, 2008

In My Weakness He is Strong

Many of you know that I often suffer from pretty severe back pain. 5 years ago I had emergency surgery to remove a herniated disc in my lower back and since that time I've had to endure frequent back pain and weakness. When I first injured my back the Lord used that time in my life to remind me of my utter dependence upon Him. At that time in my life I was 21 years old and 100% dependent upon my parents fore everything from turning on the bath water to tying my shoes. Being physically dependent upon someone allowed me to remember my spiritual (and often physical) dependence on God.

Since January of this year I have once again been faced with back problems. This time around I'm not as dependent on someone to care for every detail of my life, but I am very aware of my weakness and often I must ask for help lifting and carrying things that are too heavy for me. It doesn't take long for me to start feeling sorry for myself. It often seems that I have more limitations than I deserve, and that I am too weak for a 26 year old woman. Such are the thoughts I've been dwelling on for the past couple of days.

Today the Lord brought to mind some scripture verses that have been an encouragement to me. In 1 Corinthians 1:27 I read, "God has chosen the world's foolish things to shame the wise, and God has chosen the world's weak things to shame the strong.
God has chosen the world's insignificant and despised things--the things viewed as nothing--so He might bring to nothing the things that are viewed as something." And in 2 Corinthians 2:10 Paul writes: "Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size - abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become."

Many Biblical characters that God used to lead the Nation of Israel were weak according to man's standard. Moses felt that he was an inadequate leader for the captive children of Israel, and he actually begged God to choose someone else to lead Israel out of Egypt. King David was but a small insignificant shepherd, and yet he was HAND PICKED by God to rule Israel. The Apostle Paul wrote several times of a "thorn in my flesh", which likely could have been a physical disability, and it is also recorded that he had poor vision. Yet God used Paul to pen nearly half of the New Testament!

I am reminded that when I embrace my weakness and rely on God's almighty strength, I am made stronger, and He is glorified. His strength carries me through the pain, difficulty, and inconvenience of lower back pain. And He reminds me that His plan for my life is perfect, and His plan will be executed despite my physical weakness!!

Perhaps you too are facing a physical limitation or weakness. I hope you will be encouraged by these verses and remember that when His children are weak, God's strength becomes evident and His name renown. Won't you pray with me for His glory and power to be revealed, even if it means a disability or weakness for you?

The following song by Chris Tomlin is an encouragement to me as well.

"Great is Your faithfulness oh God, You wrestle with the sinner's heart. You lead us by still waters in to mercy, and nothing can keep us apart! Great is Your love and justice God, You use the weak to lead the strong. You lead us in the song of Your salvation, And all Your people sing along. So remember Your people, remember Your children, remember Your promise Oh God! Your grace is enough, Your grace is enough, Your grace is enough for me."

Let's dwell on His strength and sufficient grace, and not on our weaknesses.

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