Weakness is a creative, committed delivery boy. He gives us unwanted gifts that limit our abilities. The gifts are space makers, creating a gap between us and our goals, a gap that only grace can fill. Weakness reveals our assumptions, prevents our pride, and perfects our strength.
We are prone to assume that what we want is best accomplished through a clever combination of our strength, our wisdom, our efficiency, and our resources. But Weakness is committed to removing rival lovers on behalf of the Beloved. As a page of the Prince, he does what he is commissioned to do in order to show the fickleness of those impressive paramours who, when tested, prove to be traitors, not suitors. There is only One faithful enough to trust, the One who has loved us to the last through the weakness of His cross.
Weakness prevents us from pride; from assuming the imagined position of the center, the perception that all we desire depends on all we are. This is a poor model for two of many reasons. First of all, it is not true. We are not at the center. We are, if we remain humble, yoked to Him who is at the center. All other qualities, no matter how mighty they are, a no more than planets who have lost their sun-ruled orbit. Secondly, the pride-born life is not ultimately re-producible. If we succeed through our own abilities, then we model a way that pushes people into the self-damaging pursuit of an unattainable copy of it (and an unaffordable one in many cases); rather than modeling something reproducible by all, be they paraplegics or pro basketball stars : an abiding in the One in whose image we are made, the Living Vine through whom all our good fruit, in its various vivid flavors, is borne.
Weakness perfects our strength by cutting short our own–which is subject to assumptions and pride–and grafting it into His own–which is subject to nothing and connected to Him who fills everything in every way, such that success, failure, glory, dishonor, sickness, health, life, and even death become His arenas of awe we participate in. This is how robust His strength is. It is not circumstance dependent. It is not dependent on a fragile cobbling together of factors. It is dependent on the re-creating Creator who is searching for us among the trees of our strength in order to walk with us hand-in-hand to the Tree of Life. In order to show us that the ultimate strength is found within reach, bending down on the boughs above us. A strength worth boasting in. A strength called Grace.
Tagged as: grace, humility, strength, weakness