Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How Strength Out of Weakness Helps


Gracious Lord:
Give me straight sight,
Ears only for You,
Set my heart right,
So I act on what’s true.
AMEN.
***
Having recently dealt with a day when numerous examples of other people’s irresponsibility impacted on me, directly, I lamented how other people’s concerns had become my responsibility. Yet other people’s obligations can only become our responsibility if we accept them. Part of the problem was mine. I felt weary, neglected, and somewhat angry.
It’s amazing what exercise does. A 30-minute sprint on the bike, up hills and into a headwind, and I was sorted. No longer did I feel weak; strength was mine in abundance, and peace.
I had no problems to solve. All I had were opportunities, as the strain-value of the past day’s woes vanished in significance. Then I was reminded of the strength we gain from God as we recover from our weaknesses.
Then I discovered, afresh, that not only does peace return with strength, but the ability to see right as well. Our perspective is fixed. The prayer above protects our strength. As strength provides peace and righteousness, both peace and righteousness support strength.
When Weakness Facilitates Strength
When I wrote, When Brokenness Is the Beginning, I was mindful of the paradox that avails itself upon us within our weakness. When we are weak we feel weak, but we may never be closer to strength. Weakness facilitates strength. It takes us down to an entirely unacceptable position and from there we have little choice, if we have a strong enough self-interest, but to claw our way out in our resilience.
Nietzsche coined the quote, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger,” and he highlighted a truth so compelling it works in every situation we apply it to.
The strange reality of weakness, which is something we don’t see in our weakness, and we can only see by faith, is the emergent strength coming, when we can begin to see the truth again, is of a stronger proof than the previous strength. This new strength comes with a punch about it. This new strength compels us to compete. It gives us fresh reason to try. And by this strength we can see the importance of rallying for the purpose at hand.
***
There is strength available with immediacy out of weakness. Strength out of weakness is stronger than normal strength. It is a recovered strength. It is a strength that is formidable because it knows no reason for fear of failure. This strength, like our salvation, is mighty to save.
Strength out of weakness is stronger strength than normal because there is peace and right sight. This strength inspires a fresh confidence because we overcame the weakness. If weakness cannot overcome us, what can?
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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