This brief study on weakness was triggered by the only two verses in my Bible that are not only underlined and highlighted, but also circled and bookmarked:
“And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Now, what is it exactly about these two verses that caused me to set them apart from the others in such a way? A way all their own? In short, they uphold the weak. The weak. The ones that are always picked last whenever dodge ball was the game of choice during P.E. The ones that are attacked and mugged/raped in seemingly stagnant street corners and back-alleys. The ones that are deemed worthless and deadweight on a long journey and left for dead. The ones that lose a friend or loved one and fuel their gut-wrenching sobs with the strength that was formerly keeping them upright. The ones that studied all night and use whatever strength they can muster just to make it to the coffeepot.
In a way, the diversity of the weak and weary populace is a beautiful thing. Millions of scenarios could be used in millions of different places concerning millions of different people, in fact, all of mankind. At one point or another, everyone experiences a moment of weakness, whether they would like to admit it or not. In a weird way, this unifies us all, one with another. With the art of social media and simply just holding our tongues, no one ever need know about our particular struggles that sap us of our strength, but are they really something that we should be ashamed of and pretend to be invincible against?
Perfection is my enemy. That is, the imaginary kind which is based off of one’s own merit. Having the perfect job and living in the perfect house may portray the appearance of perfection to most, but what does all of that even amount to? Today, probably a mountain of student loans and a rather hefty mortgage. But even if both were paid for free and clear, would we then be made perfect? No.
For it is Christ who can make one perfect, Christ. The definition of perfection is stated as “the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defect.” When we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, doesn’t He free us from all flaws or defect? Our sins will be made white as snow and cast into the depths of the sea. Without our faith in Him, we could never even get a glimpse at what real perfection even looks like.
Credit to attaining perfection is also given to the very trials that initiate weakness. James 1:2-4 says,
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
In other words, weakness comes in full circle. It may seem completely unnecessary and unbearable, but God still has the power to either utilize it or overcome it, either way using it for His greater purpose and for your own benefit. Although it may not always be apparent, this fact is undeniably true. In order to utilize it, God chooses the weak to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1:27) and tells others to go out of their way to help them, exemplifying Christ’s love (Romans 15:1).
As for overcoming weakness, Isaiah 40:29-31 provides the perfect example of Christ accomplishing such a feat,
“He gives strength to the weak, and to him that lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength: they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”
To sum up, weakness is a necessary state of being. Each and every one of us is a slave to it, yet it also fuels our loving relationship with our good, good Father, causing His strength to be made perfect. Without weakness, we would also never look to Him for help or guidance. Why would we? Without the steadfastness produced by the testing of our faith, we wouldn’t be made perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Feeling weak and weary is in no way enjoyable, but God will not allow pain without something new to be born. Perhaps you may one day be born with a pair of wings atop your shoulders much like an eagle.