Wednesday, April 21, 2010
One of my favorite activities has become the action game Dance-Dance Revolution. For those not familiar with “DDR”, it is a game that plays songs of various intensities while displaying a series of steps one must follow on a sensor pad, with the steps recorded and one’s performance graded at the song’s end. In an effort to get a higher grade, I dance along with my 5 year-old thinking that whatever she does, surely I can do as well. Not quite! Quite often, my grade is a C or lower and my daughter will look at me with pity and casually say, “Daddy, you’re old and weak but don’t worry, I’m young and strong and I can help you!”
The last few weeks have been a non-stop adventure of personal and ministry challenges that have given me the opportunity to see weaknesses in areas in my life well beyond DDR. Nevertheless, I have come to see these weaknesses as blessings. First of all, my weaknesses help me to realize, I cannot do everything perfectly. They have sensitized me more and more to needs around me and caused me to see how what I face in my day to day life and how I handle the challenges can be of benefit to others. My weaknesses also allow me to respect and value the experience of others who reach out to help and comfort me with the wisdom they have gained from facing their own struggles in life. Most importantly, my weaknesses help me to begin to grasp a little better Jesus’ call for every Christian to devote themselves to service – serving God and serving others.
All these limitations have allowed me to look at life with an increasing God-centered focus. My limitations expose my mortality and my awareness of my own mortality heightens my understanding of God’s desire for me to apply myself to issues of real importance and values of eternal significance. It becomes less of a big deal personally that I’m getting weaker because it slows me enough to see and help with the weakness of others. It also causes me to more readily value and recognize the strength of others around me. My weakness helps me to see that it really doesn’t matter that I’m getting uglier, because while I can’t find a soap strong enough to wash off the ugly, I can find buckets of truth, love and wisdom from the Lord through His Spirit, the Scriptures and from those around me to continually transform me into an Adonis on the inside.
Facing his own weakness the Apostle Paul said this:
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it [Paul’s weakness – suffering] away from me. 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
The Lord has a wonderful way of using our external and circumstantial weaknesses to make us stronger, by helping us to impact the lives of others through our service and to be more useful in living out the realities of our faith for the Glory of God. As you inevitably encounter your own weaknesses, don’t allow them to beat you down, but instead, allow the Lord to show you how He is using your dealing you’re your weakness to bless and encourage others and to glorify Himself. Until next time…