His power is made perfect in weakness. I don't know whether to say "Oh yeah!" "Amen!" or just sigh deeply at the idea. I just know that it gives me great comfort, 'cause on my worst day He is very powerful! I love that! In fact, a counselor friend and I have often talked about how some of our best counseling sessions were when we were sick. The Holy Spirit moved right into our empty vessels and did His Work, while we just sat there and watched. An awesome sight!!!
I could list off many figures in Biblical history whose lives embodied this concept (and I will eventually--the Bible is rife with flawed characters who are used by God), but today let's just look at the idea of God's power in our weaknesses. We know He uses our gifts, but how does He use weaknesses. Well, for one, they keep us focused on Him. If we are reminded of our strengths alone, we might be tempted to become boastful. "Look what I did." We take all the glory and worse yet, we come to rely on ourselves alone for all that God is. Eventually that leads to separation from Him.
I have been amazed in watching the lives of several leaders of large or mega-churches. I often worry some of these men may become "too big for their britches" as their congregation grows. And it has happened! However, in some cases, God has given them what the apostle Paul would call a "thorn." This has come in the form of a particular acknowledged fear, a handicap of self or child, or a serious, chronic illness. In these cases these "thorns" have kept them humbly on their knees, relying on the Creator of the Universe for their every need ... and their lives, ministries and congregations are better for it. Should we then call them blessings?
Paul, in 2Corinthians 12:1-10, begins by speaking of his visions and revelations from the Lord. This is a man who had, in his early life, relied heavily on his study of scripture and the law. But when Jesus first appeared to him, he was blinded. And though this blinding was temporary, many scholars believe the thorn he spoke of in his writings was a continual degeneration of his sight. Why would God allow this to happen to the man who is most known for spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles? I believe God wanted to take away Paul's temptation to rely on his own study of the law and focus on his new relationship with the Lord. His physical sight was replaced by visions and revelations that did not appear on paper, but came from God Himself. Now I ask you, which is more powerful?! And would Paul have done as much without it? Would he have known his Creator as well?
So when you are down and feeling useless, remember you are an empty vessel of the Lord. And with Him, anything is possible. Without Him, you are just empty. So take some time today, open your Bible and fill your tank! His power is made perfect in weakness.