When I Am Weak

man dying

Anyone remember the scene from Men in Black when the alien took the skin off some poor farmer and kept walking around, dragging his foot and asking for sugar?

That image was in my mind today. It's a creepy image in one sense, yet in another sense, it was a good illustration of how I have felt of late. I may look like some version of myself from the outside, but inside, it's not me. From there, the analogy breaks down. It's not an alien inside me, but Someone else. When I am weak, then He is strong.

I've been going through a hard time. Of late, the image of that alien taking over the body of the farmer feels familiar. I personally feel like a limp set of human muscle and skin draped imperfectly over someone else's bones. It may look like me from the outside, but I'm just the floppy external dressing. If there is any strength of character, I know good and well it's not my strong bones holding me up. When I am weak, then He is strong.

In the middle of my struggle, usually when I'm tired before bed, I reflect on what was accomplished in a day. Or maybe it's more accurate to say what was endured on a given day. I have a new appreciation for these words from the apostle Paul, who walked forward in strong faith while enduring personal physical limitations as well as strong external persecution: "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, ESV).

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Know that it is more than OK to be weak. It really, truly is. Lean on Him. Walk through your day envisioning your floppy, imperfect external skin draped over His perfect strong physique. People may see you, but you know that it is He that is inside you. And how much greater is He that is in us.

Here are a few more verses for your encouragement:

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you" (Is. 43:2). 

"He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint" (Is. 40:29-31).

And my personal favorite tonight as I write this:

"For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God" (2 Cor. 13:4).

Adapted from Wendy Alsup's blog, theologyforwomen.org. Wendy has authored three books, including By His Wounds You are Healed: How the Message of Ephesians Transforms a Woman's Identity. She is also a wife, mom and college math teacher who loves ministering to women.

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