Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Week 9: Be Weak

Week 9_Be WeakEvery now and then the pendulum of life swings just a touch to the overwhelming side. Over the past two years or so I’ve experienced a few situations that felt almost too much to bear, and they made me feel weak

In 2011, the death of my father rocked my world and shook my faith. From there the snowball of change steamrolled downhill – picking up speed and more change as it went along. 

On the heels of dad’s death, I faced major management changes on my job. Accompanying the management changes were workflow and workLOAD changes. Let me just say that after a life altering experience like the death of a loved one, almost any change thereafter tends to feel unsettling and just plain scary.

At this point, stress-related health issues joined the party. I swear I saw a person in a white coat more in the last couple of years than I ever hope to again. My blood pressure fluctuated to crazy levels. I had more x-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds and MRIs than could possibly be normal. And I had a headache that seemed to never, ever end. It was insane!

Somewhere in the midst of it all I planned a wedding and got married. Woo Hoo!!! Praise God for the windfall of joy, but being married now means living with A MAN. Jesus help me! 🙂 Now that’s a pretty big change there, right?

As if all of that wasn’t enough, before my groom and I completed one full year of marital bliss my job was on the line. Yep! My entire department at work was wiped out. I was faced with the choices of relocation (on my own dime) to keep my job, posting for a different position or taking a severance package that would have lasted me all of a month. Needless to say, the pressure mounted as uncertainty settled in yet again.

There’s nothing fancy or extraordinary about the series of events I’ve faced over the past few years. We face a myriad of situations and circumstances each day – some good, others not so much – that simply challenge our strength. It’s called life. It’s unpredictable and often feels unbearable; it’s not uncommon to feel our knees begin to buckle beneath the pressure of it all.

However, one of the most valuable lessons I learned during this season is how to be weak. I learned that sometimes I focus too much on trying to be strong, but my true strength and power is actually found in my ability to submit to the reality of my weakness.

I was reminded of this biblical passage:

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

You see, weakness looks different through the eyes of the world than it does through the eyes of God. I have learned it will do me all the good in the world to exchange my view of weakness for His. It is in the middle of my weakest moments that I enjoy the power of His strength – strength a gazillion times greater than my own.

Final note…

Ladies, stress is not a friend to our bodies. Unfortunately, the stress of all these life changes over the past few years left an unwelcome package in the form of a few extra pounds. Good grief…(in my Charlie Brown voice). Standing on a scale one day, a cloak of failure attempted to drape my heart and I began to feel overwhelmed once again. OH how I lamented the work it will take to send this package back to the depth of Hades from whence it came. But then I was again reminded of the scripture verses above. With that reminder, I gave in and whispered, “Lord, I’m older. Things have shifted and moved and what used to work isn’t working anymore. This is too hard for me. I’m just not strong enough to do this on my own. I am weak. Give me your strength.”

By the grace, strength and power of God, I hit the treadmill the next day – one foot in front of the other.  

See it doesn’t matter what your area of weakness may be. Just yield to it. Trade in your pseudo-strength for something real, something substantial, something GREAT.  Allow God’s strength to take over, and I believe you, too, will see that His grace really is sufficient and His strength shines brilliantly through your weakness.

Are you challenged by the thought of being weak? What is an area of weakness in your life that could use God’s strength?