Of all the Biblical heroes we grew up hearing the stories told again and again about, the story of Samson really hits home with me. I’m not sure why, because in a lot of ways, he is probably one of the biggest “disappointments” in the Scriptures. Blessed beyond belief with strength probably no human ever has or ever will experience, and he threw it all away.
I often wonder why. Why would he take this blessing, one few people really receive, and let it all go for one night. I guess I relate to him because often at my “strongest”, it’s in those moments I feel untouchable. Invincible. Like I can do no wrong.
It’s funny how in those moments, when we’re at our “strongest”, it’s often where we’re most vulnerable. It’s in those moments that we’re often reminded how weak we really are. Why? I don’t know, perhaps our pride goes to our heads and we feel as though we have it all together.
When Jesus came, he came to seek and save the lost, not the found. He made audacious claims that laughed in the face of society like “blessed are the MEEK, for they will inherit the earth.” I wonder if maybe it is not when we are at our strongest that we are most effective for God’s Kingdom, but at our weakest. Because it’s when we are at our “weakest”, that we finally begin to truly trust and rely on God’s strength, not our own.
Remember, even with Moses, another great hero of our faith, it wasn’t until he finally admitted that he was definitely the wrong guy for the job, that God was able to use Him to accomplish His will for His people.
Praying for weakness is not an easy prayer to pray. It’s easy to pray for strength, to be a strong father, a strong mother, a strong follower. Those prayers make sense. This life is about building strength, not losing it, right?
But what if, with regards to our spirit, our faith, what if the greatest strength we possess is only released in our weakness? What if God is waiting for us to come to a place where we recognize and embrace our weakness, so His strength can fill that void, and we live on His power and His alone. Society tells us to run from weakness, or at the very least hide it. Jesus gives us another message, another gospel of it is those who are weak, that will be made strong. That is exactly what Paul wrote in his letter to the believers in Corinth, when he quoted God our Father as saying “My power works best in weakness”.
Maybe rather than seeking strength, power, or all that comes with it, maybe we need to learn to embrace weakness. It doesn’t make sense in our modern world where strength is constantly sought after, but then again, not much of what Jesus said really did.
A while back, a new restaurant opened in my hometown in Detroit called “Johnny Noodle King”. It’s a restaurant that specializes in Ramen Noodle dishes. One of the coolest things about ramen is you take a very basic, yet delicious noodle, and then you can form it into any flavor you desire. Here’s an option to try out this week, but have fun with it. Take this simple, “weak” food, and turn it into something beautiful, because that’s exactly what God does with us.
FIRSTBORN - by Good Luck Varsity on their album “Foundations”. I’ll say up front, it’s a rockin’ tune, but listen to the words. Find hope in the fact that God can use our weakness to accomplish great things, if we trust Him to.
God, you know every strength and every weakness in me. You’ve seen the best of me, and worst of me. Thank you God, that your unfailing love is greater than the worst parts of who I am. Thank you God, that despite all of my flaws and shortcomings, you desire to accomplish great things by the gifts you have given me. Help me, Father, to embrace my weakness, not run from it, so your Kingdom can be made known to those around me. You are so good to me. Your faithfulness reaches beyond my imagination. Find me in my weakness, God, and use me to do your will.
It’s uncommon for people to show weakness or vulnerability in our culture. This week, take some time to intentionally approach conversations and interactions from a place where you are ready to listen, ready to embrace the strengths of someone else, rather than just always trying to flex your own.