Part of the process we’re going through in my preaching methodology and theology class this semester is to ask questions of ourselves about our preparedness to teach God’s Word. Last week, one of the questions we had to tackle in our journals was “In what ways do you find it difficult to trust God?” Such a great question! After some pondering, I came up with a few thoughts, and I thought I’d share some of them.
The first thing God brought to me is that I wrestle with the question of “enough”. Sometimes I find it difficult to trust God to be enough, when I’m not enough. Enough for what, exactly? Well, specifically, to do what God has called me to do. When the rubber meets the road, will I have the … strength? smarts? savvy? simoleons? whatever I imagine it’s going to take to actualize God’s plans and purposes?
You probably caught it just from the way I asked the question… I don’t really think it’s the right question. What we’re really asking when we ask a question like that is… Does God have the resources to achieve His purposes? Is HE enough?
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul explains to the Corinthian church — who are struggling with trying to decide which teacher among them is the greatest — that it is in fact God’s strength that matters, and that God’s strength in fact radiates in our weakness…
First, God made Paul weak on purpose, ostensibly to draw Paul to Christ. Paul formerly viewed himself as strong, but has now realized that strength was an illusion … even a delusion (see the preceding verses back into chapter 11).
Second, even though Paul begs, God refuses to take away Paul’s weakness and replace it with a self-sufficient strength. God desires the dependence born out of Paul’s weakness. He knows it’s better for Paul to be weak and depend on Him than to be strong himself, even if the strength were provided by God.
Lastly, God graciously revealed His plan to Paul (and to us) that “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9)
In the end, Paul boasts in his weakness, knowing that therein the power of God is manifested and displayed to the Corinthians and throughout history. God Himself achieves His purposes. Our roles are more in acknowledging (boasting in!) our weakness, and running to Him. God is most clearly at work in His weak, incapable, humble, dependent children. The truth is that it’s better to be weak in the lap of God than strong anywhere else!