Power in Weakness?

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Matt and I have been going through a roooouuugghhhhh season (thankfully, not with each other!). It’s times like this that what I said still reigns true: Marriage isn’t hard, LIFE is hard. And I’m so glad that I get to have a hard life with a sweet husband.

With that being said, I’ve been insanely mad at God over the last few months. I feel like he has let me down. And that he isn’t helping me. And I feel really distant from him.

We’re taught to turn to Scripture for everything, and I usually turn to a verse like 2 Corinthians 12:9 in times like this:

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

That’s cute. Real cute. And it’s a verse that is hard to actually understand. We kind of take verses like these at face value, saying/reading them to appease our need for a reason, a why for something bad happening.

But sometimes, glossing over verses like this is just taking the easy road, and it doesn’t actually help us. It’s like me being in a tough situation and someone saying, “But Amanda, the sky is blue. So blue.”

And I’m all, “Yes, sister. PREACH. The sky is blue. I’m so comforted that the sky is blue.”

Eye roll.

So let’s dig in here, and start by figuring out what this verse is not saying.

It’s not saying that God needs us to be weak for him to be strong. Because guess what? He’s already strong. He’s the definition of strong. He has ALL the power. He doesn’t even need us to be weak for his power and strength to be perfect. Because he’s already perfect! This isn’t yin and yang, where we’re playing some fun balancing act where when our weak meter goes up, God’s goes down and he gets more powerful.

This is important. Because some people interpret this verse to mean that we have to suffer for God to be made perfect, and that’s just not true. I know it helps to think about us having a reason for our suffering, like somehow we’re helping God here by suffering and being weak. But nope. That’s not it. ┬áHe loves us, but he doesn’t need us to be perfect. He doesn’t need us to be strong. And, he doesn’t need us to be weak, either. We WILL suffer–that is guaranteed–but it isn’t for God to gain power or to somehow perfect his power.

So what is this verse saying, then?

We know that God has perfect strength and power. Already. Without us. And here’s where it gets beautiful: God’s power is in us, and when we become weak, WE experience the perfectness of that power. It’s already perfect! But when life is good and we’re stubborn and don’t need God, his power isn’t living up to its potential in us. It’s just kind of waiting for its chance to shine. So when we hurt and we are weak, the perfect power of God radiates in us, whereas we don’t normally let it.

 

So, let’s kind of re-write this verse (I know, I’m a heretic, get over it): My power, which is totally perfect and complete, lives in you already. If you’ll just lean into this pain you’re feeling, you can experience my power, too. It’s there already, and it’s already perfect. You have a hard time seeing that when life is hunky-dory, so now that we’re in the trenches together, let’s explore. You’re hurting? I have stuff for that. You’re weak and can’t keep going? GREAT! I have perfect power, so I can help there. In fact, it’s your weakness that’s making my perfect power shine in your heart! Lean into it! Don’t you feel better already?!

God’s perfect power is like a backup battery for your heart. If you have a backup batter, but you’re also plugged into the wall, you think there’s no use for a silly battery. You’re all, “But I’ve got the electricity! I don’t need a battery!” Until the power goes out. And then you REALLY need a backup battery. And that’s how this verse works. You don’t need the battery (which works perfectly, even when not in use) until you literally. shut. down.

So here’s to having a lifelong, everlasting backup battery. Lord knows we need it.

xo, A.

Let’s Hope.

Concordance
This weekend was a rough one. My dad had emergency open heart surgery, and as someone who has a track record of multiple death scares (dad, not me), the stress level was even higher (see: nine lives?). But in the midst of the stress and the fear and the smell of hospitals (what is that smell anyway? Nevermind, don’t answer that), we came down from the terror of the experience to being eternally grateful that now our biggest worries were just when he would be discharged and if he could take a shower. Continue reading