I’ve been discouraged lately by the feeling of failure. There have been circumstances bombarding me with reminders of my limitations and apparent inability. Success eludes me and with it goes my joy. Have you felt like a failure lately as well?
There’s this reality deep within our bones that we are limited. We all have weakness. We all have a kryptonite. Weakness seems to be dreaded in our culture. It can also be punished or cause exclusion from opportunity. If you can’t run fast enough your off the team. If you can’t make your quota then your fired. Only the strong will conquer while the weak eat Cheetos and watch daytime TV. I like Cheetos…
We all have physical limits. We all tap out eventually on smarts. Talent only goes so far. So what then? What does God have to say about our weakness? Is He up in heaven shaking His head with disappointment and regret? Does He shout things like; “Mercy is for the weak! Now give me 50 pushups loser or I’ll go find someone stronger!” Will will be excluded from greatness?
Fortunately I got some time to refocus with God’s word this past week. The Apostle Paul gives us a glimpse into a spiritual perspective on weakness. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (1 Corinthians 12:9)
I like celebrating but the thought of celebrating my weakness sounds counter intuitive. I don’t know about you but I’m not quite ready to shout my weakness from the rooftops. And yet, I see a new potential for my weaknesses. I’m seeing now that my weakness is not the end, it’s the beginning. A new way for the power of Christ to flow in and through my. When I admit I’m lost without the power of God it helps to reconnect me to real strength. It’s not a 50-50 partnership with God. You offer up your entire life, even your weaknesses and say, “God, make something beautiful out of me. Are you willing to say, “Do what only you can do and give me the power to do the impossible. The love to change lives. The chance to be eternally significant.”
Contrary to what you may have heard before from voices of discouragement and shame God wants to do something magnificent in you. He wants to bring new life, healing, power, and significance to your life here on earth. This one life that you have is meant to reverberate into eternity. Here’s the crazy part. It’s not for the strong. God’s not looking for the best of the best, the self-confident, or the self-sufficient. He’s looking for the weak. Sweet! I qualify! How bout you? (1 Corinthians 1:27)
Our problem is that we often get in the way. We try and force the significance into our lives. We try and manufacture as much success as we can with our talents and abilities but we keep failing. Maybe God’s definition of success looks different than ours. Maybe God’s timeline is different than ours. Don’t try and force it like Abraham did. God promised Abraham a son and a mighty nation but years went on without any fulfillment. Sometimes we doubt that God’s promises are true because we haven’t waited long enough. “The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise.” (Gal. 4:23)
When Abraham and his wife tried to force the blessing it turned out messy. Are you willing to keep trusting God and following Him even when it seems like you’re failing? “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal. 6:9) I read this and wrote down this phrase, “I’ll stick around.” Maybe you are exhausted with trying to follow God in your relationships, your work, your ministry or your spirituality and you feel like a failure. But wait, there will be a harvest. Will you stick around for it?
Weakness causes dependence. Failure leads to faith. And that can be a good thing when it turns you to God. When you admit your weak you admit you can’t go it alone. You need God.
That’s what He’s hoping you’ll wake up to and realize today. You need Him. And with Him you can fly. You can live. You can leave a legacy. It’s worth the wait. Don’t give up.
P.S. If you don’t know what “Chic” means then you are WEAK and you should do 50 pushups and then you should probably google it. 😉