“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.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
I shall never forget an afternoon in the late 1970s when I tried to mow my lawn and realized I was too weak to cut the grass. When I tried to replace the license plates on my car, I 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 have had times of such great weakness, especially while ministering from my wheelchair, when I’ve thought: There is absolutely nothing coming from me; everything is coming from God! As God used Paul in mighty ways, 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 Christ I did not discover until I was powerless. My experience of weakness forced me to discover that the strength of the risen living Christ outweighs my weakness.
Dick Woodward, Happiness That Doesn’t Make Good Sense