Have you ever seen an injured runner cross the finish line? Or have you ever looked at marathon runners at the end of their race?
Sometimes due to injury or exhaustion, athletes have even crawled or drug themselves the last few steps of the race. Other times, they only cross the finish line with the help of friends, a family member, or other racers who help carry them to victory.
Can we call it a victory if the runner is so depleted at the end?
Yes, we can absolutely cheer and celebrate their victorious crossing of the finish line. Anyone can get excited about a strong and robust, chest-forward, end of a race; but there’s a special kind of triumph when the runner has nothing left and still manages to do whatever it takes to complete the course and get to the other side of the finish line.
We all shout and holler about Jesus being the Truth (and He is), but if we are honest we have to agree that very often the discovery of the truth is painful, and even humiliating. The truth can be like a punch to the gut that seems to weaken us.
But like the worn-out runners mentioned earlier, the Apostle Paul discovered profound strength in his own personal weakness. Through his limitations Paul was able to meet Jesus in a new way. The Lord said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
There is a power we will never know if we remain confident in our own abilities. Even the spiritual gifts that God has given us will become ineffective if we only rely on our own skills, personality, and knowledge to carry them out.
John the Baptist had it exactly right when he saw Jesus and proclaimed, “He must increase. I must decrease” (John 3:30).
This type of thinking is so opposite of all that we are naturally inclined to do. We hide our weaknesses and strive to make ourselves greater all the time. But when we live this way, we will always fall short of the glory that God wants to express through us.
Even Jesus appeared to be failing miserably as He hung naked and beaten on the Cross. Yet, that was the most powerful time of His earthly ministry. He chose weakness so that we could come to know the Father’s strength. And the Bible tells us that the Father was satisfied with what Jesus did! Do we want God to be pleased? It may cost us a photo-op or two, but is that really important?
Paul goes on to say, “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 Corinthians 12:9,10).
So as we conitnue on our journey, let’s allow God to exceed our expectations. He can do that if we fully face and embrace our frailties and rely on His strength to get us over the finish line with unspeakable victory and the joy of overcoming through the hard times.
A special thatnks to Candace Garret Daly of Seed, Fruit and Roots Blog for this timely piece! May you choose praise no matter what siutation you find yourself in today!
Candace Garrett Daly grew up in Greenville, NC and discovered a love of writing at a young age. After being born again as a teenager she began to write Bible studies and pamphlets about Jesus to share with friends and classmates. She now resides in the metro Atlanta area where she continues to write books and articles to encourage Believers to remain steadfast in love and devotion to Jesus. Candace's desire is to see God's Word become available, understood, and triumphantly lived all around the world. To read more of her writings, you may visit her blog www.SeedFruitAndRoots.com. You may also purchase her book by the same title at Amazon.com.