Do you ever have those times when you see a particular scripture, over and over again in different places? For me this scripture has been in a youth lesson one night, several devotionals, blog posts and sermons, as well at a conference just over the last couple of months.
When this happens and the Lord is this persistent, I take notice. Before I began seeing this scripture everywhere, He had been speaking to me about looking at my weaknesses and struggles a little differently.
I have always seen my weaknesses and struggles like those pesky roadblocks they put out when there is work going on in the road. They seem to make more work and be a unnecessary distraction to my day and my momentum.
They cause me to feel weak, stupid, and less than. I have never been able to understand the purpose for them.
I have several weaknesses. My hearing loss has caused me to have limitations, I have dealt with countless insecurities, and battled with depression in different seasons of life, among other little ones that crop up, now and again.
Over the years these have felt negative and unproductive. I would think to myself about how all the ways my life would be better and easier if I did not have them. Then God began working in my heart and mind to transform my thinking and to help me see them all, the way He sees them, and me.
I began looking back over the years, but this time, I saw some things a little differently. I noticed the ways God was working in my weaknesses and I saw the difference in how He was able to work when I let go and stopped trying to live out these weaknesses in my own strength.
When I surrendered the limitations that come with my hearing loss, He gave me strength to be willing to accept them, take the breaks I needed, and ask for help when necessary. Peace came!
When I tried to push through my limitations, the enemy had a foothold in my emotions and my weariness took over. There was no peace to be found, just a broken girl who felt less than and defeated.
When the dark cloud of depression threatened to rain on my heart, I surrendered my hopelessness to the Lord, He strengthened me and filled me with Hope.
When I tried to fight depression in my flesh, in my own strength, the negative thoughts in my mind took over and polluted my heart with hopelessness.
When my flesh and spirit battle, I need to surrender to Him so He can fight for me and bring the victory, instead of trying to fight in my own strength, only to fall on my face in defeat.
If I never had a weakness, I would not know what it means to be humbled, to need Him, to know He is my strength and my warrior. I would not know what it means to seek Him with my whole, heart, soul, and mind.
If I never had a weakness. others would not see me humbled in a way where God truly lifts me up. They would never see me need Him more than anything. They would never see me love Him and seek Him with my whole, heart, soul, and mind.
He would not be glorified the same way!
Do your weaknesses frustrate you? I understand!
Do your weaknesses make you feel less than? I understand!
Bring them to the feet of Jesus. Surrender them to Him. He will strengthen you! His word says when we humble ourselves, He will lift us up. Humble yourselves before Him to day. May He be glorified in and through you. Yes, even through your weaknesses!