It had been a long night. I slowly opened my eyes and tried to collect my very groggy mind. My toddler was in the throws of teething, and needed mommy’s comfort until the wee hours of the morning. My voice was abnormally hoarse, my right eye was very swollen, and to top it off, I was supposed to lead worship in just a couple of hours. Needless to say, I was not feeling at all prepared, either physically or mentally, to do so. But, there was no going back now – it was too late to find someone to fill in for me. So as I got ready, I laid myself before the Lord. I felt very keenly the need for His grace.
I was nervous as I walked up on the stage and sat at the piano. I wasn’t sure if my voice would hold up or if I’d be able to make it through a song without fumbling notes or lyrics. And I wondered if others would notice my struggle. I am usually one to try to hide any kind of weakness I’m walking through, but that morning I felt the need to humbly acknowledge that I was not coming in any strength of my own, but was leaning fully on God’s grace. And an amazing thing happened. All self-consciousness about my insufficiencies vanished. All pressure was off of me and my focus was turned toward the One who we were praising. Rather than worrying about my scratchy voice or swollen eye, I was resting in His strength and worshipping Him without distraction in my heart.
There seems to be a pendulum swing in Christian culture when it comes to acknowledging weakness. Either we are on the side of trying to hide all of our flaws and deficiencies and maintain a strong, confident, “spiritual” face, or we’re on other side, wallowing in our weakness, and putting all of our shortcomings and difficulties display. Both, in their own way, are based in pride and end up drawing attention to ourselves.
But, there is a way of acknowledging our weakness in a way the truly does point to Jesus. We see this in Paul’s words to the Corinthians, “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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:9-10 NASB).
There is not one of us who is void of weakness in some way or another. It could be anything from physical illness, to insecurity, to talking too much. Whatever it may be, each of us is in deep need of God’s grace. Without His power enabling us to live this Christian life, we have no ability to overcome those trials in a way that glorifies Him. God doesn’t want us to come to Him with everything figured out. He desires us to come to Him in our helplessness and cast ourselves at His feet. This is what honors Him the most, because we are recognizing that we are so very small, and that He is so very great. And it is only then that He has the ability to come in and flood us with His Almighty power to live as He has called us to.
“When we pray for the Spirit’s help… we will simply fall down at the Lord’s feet in our weakness. There we will find the victory and power that comes from His love.”
– Andrew Murray