About a year ago, my daughter (12 years at the time) accidentally knocked a frame off the wall, and it broke at the corner seams. I told her it was her responsibility to fix it and I forgot about it until the next day, when I noticed the mended frame back up on the wall. In her problem-solving spirit, she had used a hot glue gun to reconnect the seams of the frame, except there were now large amounts of dried hot glue showing on the front of a mended seam.
My first thought was to call her in and have her fix it again, except this time I would show her how to do it better, without the fix being so glaringly obvious. But then I stopped myself in that thought and decided to leave it as-is, as a reminder. A reminder that my life is not about perfection. A reminder that it is in weaknesses that the beauty of this life experience is revealed. That line of exposed hot glue is a visual token of her weakness but also of her goodness and innocence.
The apostle Paul talks about weaknesses in 2 Corinthians. He explains that he was so vexed by a personal weakness that he prayed three times to the Lord to be rid of it.
In response to Paul’s pleadings the Lord replied…
“My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Paul then explains “. . .when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 9-11)
Every time I look at that frame, I am reminded of my love for my daughter. Could it be the same for God? When he sees us in our weaknesses, His love reaches out to us.
This does not mean that we should be reconciled to never improving because God loves us regardless. But rather we should accept that our weaknesses do exist, and then see our weaknesses as opportunity for Christ’s power to come into our lives. Let that sink in.
Personal weakness is an opportunity to access God’s power!
Weakness is opportunity!
In contrast, to hide our weaknesses behind shame, or to not even acknowledge their existence is to reject Christ’s power and love. God himself told Paul, “my strength is made perfect in weakness.” This means that when we accept His strength into our lives it fulfills His purpose.
An example of accepting a weakness and turning to God is illustrated by my son Nelson (11), who recently gave his first talk in church. He talked about the importance of working to improve in life. Here is an excerpt from that talk.
“When I was three years old I began speech therapy because I had a very hard time speaking clearly. My family and teachers and friends understood nothing that I said or very little. This left me feeling sad because I wanted to communicate. As a result I became a quiet and hesitant kid. The good news is that I wanted to improve. I worked hard for most of my life to be able to be understood. By going to speech and by practicing at home I slowly got better, little by little. Finally, after about 6 years, I graduated from speech therapy. Consistent hard work paid off. My prayers and my parents prayers were answered. God’s grace is the most important part of work. We are not enough but with Him we are enough.”
Nelson’s consistent work, combined with his faith in Christ, changed him and deepened his ability to trust in God. The saying is fitting in my mended frame that hangs on my dining room wall.
Self-reflect on your weaknesses; then turn to God for divine strength.
Give it a try!