“And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, 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.” (2Corinthians 12:9-10)
I shall never forget an afternoon in the late 1970s when I discovered that I was not able to lift the set of weights I regularly lifted. I then tried to mow my lawn and realized I was too weak to cut the grass. Finally, I tried to replace the license plates on my car and learned to my horror that I was too weak to do even that.
Although it was two years before I could accept the awful reality that I would never feel full strength again, my weakness made it possible to resonate with Paul in a deeper way when he described the way his weakness drove him to access the strength and power of the living risen Christ.
I’ve had times of such great weakness, especially while ministering, when I’ve thought: There is absolutely nothing coming from me; everything is coming from God! In spite of his great weakness, as God used Paul to make the Church a worldwide force, he put into words what I have felt many times: “Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God!” (2Corinthians 3:5. italics added)
These were merely familiar Scripture verses until I had no strength of my own. There is a dimension of the power and strength of the risen Christ I did not discover until I was powerless. The vehicle that brings the grace of God to me which outweighs my challenges is the strength of the risen, living Christ. Paul’s experience of weakness, recorded for us in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, directed me to that miracle.
When we have no strength of our own, we simply must learn that is possible to tap into the strength of the living Christ. I now thank God for my experience of weakness that forced me to discover the strength of the risen living Christ that outweighs my weakness – and helped me discover the happiness that doesn’t make good sense.
Dick Woodward, Happiness That Doesn’t Make Good Sense