Content With Weakness
2 Cor. 12:10 - "For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then am I strong."
Have you ever seen a young boy flex his biceps as he imagines what he will look like as a full-grown man? In his mind's eye he pictures himself in the prime of his masculine life, muscle-bound and able to overcome any obstacle on his own. We appropriately celebrate each achievement that identifies his physical growth and maturity, while the young man likes to boast about his increasing independence and strength.
However, what do we think when we see an older man past his prime? Someone who, through a life well-lived, has arrived at the point where he needs to lean on others in order to get around? Someone who increasingly needs additional help to accomplish everyday tasks? In whose strength does this man learn to boast? The believer who has a Biblical perspective on life and eternity is able to graciously and honestly boast about the strength and care of his family as they supplement his weakness. This man continues to learn to be content in his weakness as he gratefully rejoices in the ongoing strength of those who care for him.
God challenges us to think through some of these things from a spiritual perspective. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul transparently told some self-sufficient Christians that he personally wrestled with some kind of weakness caused by an unidentified "thorn in the flesh." After multiple prayers asking for its removal, he learned to be content with it, because it gave Jesus the opportunity to demonstrate His strength working in a physically weakened Paul. It gave Jesus a chance to shine in the life of a weakened person. Instead of becoming bitter over his lack of independence, Paul used the situation to boast about the strength of the One on whom he had learned to depend!
Paul's teaching can be applied to any number of difficult circumstance outside of our control. In moments which seem wildly chaotic, in moments where we personally don't have the physical, or emotional strength to carry on, those are moments when Christ can shine as he carries us through! We don't have to become bitter or afraid. And when our Lord successfully carries out his purpose in those moments, we are given the opportunity to praise his strength and wisdom. Like Paul, we can learn to be content in weakness by trusting in the strength of our Lord.