I recently discovered the power of giving up. In all my years as a wife and mother I do believe this is the first time I’ve uttered anything of the sort. But, let me be the first to say – you have try this!
I’m not a fan of weakness. I like to be physically, mentally and emotionally tough. Something tells me I’m not alone. Slogans like “Built Ford Tough” and “Army Strong” appeal to our natural desire to be fit for the job. Beyonce started a movement across the globe when she beckoned independent women to throw their hands up at her.
The problem is, no matter how strong or self-reliant, we will eventually find a foe that proves to be more than we can handle. We get sick or tired or lonely. Someone disappoints us or hurts us or abandons us. Then what?
“But [the Lord] 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.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)
Boast means to speak about oneself with excessive pride. Could we possibly boast about our weaknesses? If I’m being honest, a lot of times I claim to live in the power of Christ, but deep down I rely on my own strength.
You may also suffer from this syndrome if you show symptoms like:
- Your thoughts swarm around your “to-do” list all day every day.
- You say things like, “I’m fine,” or “I got it.”
- You are allergic to emotion.
- You’d rather walk across hot coals than ask someone for help.
- When life gets hectic time spent with Jesus is the first thing to go.
That last one grabbed my attention this week. As Luke shared our current condition (newborn, homeschool, toddlers, laundry, football season, etc.) with a friend, that dear friend gently reminded us to find time every day to get in God’s Word. My first thought: “When? Nice idea, but I just don’t have time right now.”
Then it hit me. If I truly relied on the power of Christ, time spent with him would be my lifeline. Instead of a quick dismissal as soon as my schedule filled up, I would search for the minutes to shut the door and take refuge in the Word.
This revelation led me to dig through Scripture to see what God says about weakness. I found out God often picks the least likely candidate for the job. Take Gideon for example. Despite his place at the bottom of the barrel of position and power, God called Gideon a mighty warrior and told him to gather an army and go fight the men responsible for oppressing the Israelites.
A closer look at Gideon reveals what he lacked in physical strength he made up for with great faith. Faith that paved the way for the promise of sufficient grace that leads to perfect power.
I’m beginning to think the reason Jesus didn’t pick me for this job is that after a scan of all His children, He landed on me and thought, “Now there’s a girl who has it all together.”
So when the diaper sagging down to my toddler’s knees heckles, “And you thought you could do this?” Or the collection of crumbs on the kitchen floor jeers, “What kind of a mother are you?” Or the mountain of laundry laying at the foot of the bed reminds me I’m in over my head; instead of beating myself up and dwelling on all of my inadequacies, I’ve been given permission to boast.
Are you there? It’s a tricky thing to give up the clenched fist of control way down deep in your heart and once and for all exclaim, “I give up!” I know this from experience. It requires three simple yet piercing steps:
- Own it: Recognize and accept the resistance in your heart to rely completely on Jesus.
- Let it go: Repent of the sin of exalting yourself above your Savior.
- Count on it: Confidently trust the power you tap into when you boast of your weakness!
“Hello, my name is ____, and I don’t have it altogether . . . and that’s OK! Yipee!”