2 Cor. 12:9 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." This is one of my favorite verses, especially in my own life. One of the things I inherited from one of my parents is something that has embarrassed me as long as I can remember. I have this very minor condition called 'action tremors'. This is a purely pride 'weakness' for me. Action tremors is defined as a tremor that increases when the hand (or leg) is in motion. Sometimes my hands will shake for no reason, other times it is intensified if I am nervous. I have been asked countless times if I am cold or nervous, when in reality I am neither, just trembling! When I have to hold hands with someone other than family (for prayer), I just know they are going to think I am a freak! ;) This can be VERY embarrassing, and is a reason I tend to like to be behind the scenes! I say this is a pride weakness, because it doesn't hurt or make me lose grip on things, it just makes me shake on the outside. I know without a shadow of a doubt the Lord gave me, and not any of my other siblings, this because He knew I would need to learn humility that only this could teach me. I sing in choir at my church, and my sister knows if I reach over and tap her foot it means share your book with me because I can't turn the page, for fear of dropping it because of my trembling hands. Getting up in front of anyone makes me nervous, which intensifies the trembling and anything I do with my hands looks like an earthquake is happening. For someone who is a control freak, not being able to control my own hands, and sometimes legs is a very humbling thing! God is so good, and knew I needed these lessons in humility.
Honestly this is the least of my weaknesses, and lest you think I have a body full of sickness, I'm talking about in my spirit. I have SO many weaknesses that I see everyday, in my own strength I will never be able to win. As embarrassing as it is to shake uncontrollably, I am so much more embarrassed when I allow my weakness of my pride, discontentment, and many others to be seen to others. Because that means I chose to not allow the Lord to show His strength through me. I can't take a pill or do some remedy to stop my physical weakness, but God has given me and you the best tools to win this battle every time. We so seldom decide to use His strength in our weaknesses every day. When you face the battle of discontentment, where do you run? Is it first to the TV, music, a friend or food to drown your sorrows? Or is it on your knees, or to the Bible? In every situation of life whether you have physical ailments, or just spiritual/emotional, God should be our source of comfort in each situation! He will give us the RIGHT answer, not just the one we want to hear! When the Lord becomes our strength, someone can say something unkind to us and we can sweetly respond. Knowing that if I was in my own strength I would have come back with something unkind. We have such a powerful God, and He wants to help us. When we choose to let Him be our strength, we avoid sin that we become that light of Jesus' power to the world.
Now the rest of 2 Cor 12:9b & 10 "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." Wow even as I type this blog, I don't know that I have ever thanked God or taken pleasure for my action tremors, I'm quite sure I have not. I need to remember when I get up there and play the piano, or simply hold my song book in choir I am doing it through His strength, because I know on my own I would be quaking (literally ;)! I also don't know that I have thanked God for the times of discontentment, because they teach me to rely on God, even when I can't see the whole picture! I for sure haven't taken pleasure in them! There is so much instruction packed in these few verses! Maybe you have this under control and this is not really up your alley, I promise that it will be one day. You will come to a time when your life, physically and/or spiritually will become full of weaknesses. You can choose to live in your weaknesses and be depressed, or thank God for them knowing that His strength is what you will rely on, and learning the lessons He will teach you through each of them.
I know I need to work on being thankful for both my physical and spiritual weaknesses. Thanking God for His presence in my life, and for also teaching me through each weakness just how much I need Him more everyday.
**Disclaimer: I am in no way saying that my 'weakness' is the same as someone who has one or many physically painful conditions, but I believe the principle in these verses are the same if you have a physical weakness or spiritual/emotional weakness. The Lord doesn't specify what type of weaknesses He will be our strength in, it's all encompassing! :)