Resting in God’s Strength Within Our Struggles
I nearly failed to make dinner the other night. When the spaghetti jar resisted my best attempts to pop open, the lack of physical strength left me feeling weak and deflated. Frustration rose to the surface…and I almost let it get the better of me.
As my husband watched me struggle, he gently asked if he could help. Before caving in, a few more attempts proved I did not possess the strength to open the jar on my own.
Despite my best efforts to overcome the jar—desiring to put an end to my frustration—my husband took it from my hands. The pop of the lid seconds later left me a bit knocked down, but I pressed on to get dinner on the table. Minutes later, the spaghetti jar fiasco had become a distant memory, but the takeaway had a more lasting effect.
When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong
The pattern of trying to overcome a personal weakness on your own may be a struggle you are familiar with too. Within this pattern, it becomes difficult to remember that what we need is not our own strength, but God’s.
Inviting God into our struggles is a starting point in experiencing his strength in our weakness.
Admitting I was too weak to open the spaghetti jar presented my husband with the opportunity to provide aid to me in my weakness through his strength. God invites us into the same narrative with him within our struggles.
“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. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong,” the Apostle Paul teaches us in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV, emphasis added).
Paul teaches us that when we are weak, then we are strong. Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness.
Resting in God’s Strength
What a gift that within the places we feel weak God’s provision and grace are what we can rely on to see us through. We don’t have to hold it all together. Our weaknesses become a place to see God at work, a place to rest in his strength.
“I believe weakness is not a place of lack, but a place where I have an opportunity to invite God in; a place to become fully whole; a place to experience the full extent of grace + peace God offers.”Abundant Life Manifesto
While the spaghetti jar is a trivial example in the big scheme of life and the challenges we face, it can serve as a reminder that God desires to be invited into the narrative. Left to our own devices frustration may well continue to bubble to the surface, but with God, our weakness becomes a place for him to provide us with the strength to endure.
The strength to forgive a difficult hurt.
The strength to show up to one more test or procedure.
The strength to ask for help when needed.
The strength to keep going amid the unknown.
The provision only God can provide meets us within the struggle. Within the areas of our lives that we feel weak and lacking hope, may we bring them to God, who is ready and waiting to fill us with the strength to endure.
When do you feel God’s presence most in your life?
Under what circumstances have you relied on Christ’s power to rest upon you?
How have you seen God move through your weakness to provide you with the strength to endure?
Where you are weak, the power of Christ rests upon you (see 2 Corinthians 12:9).