When I got to high school, I started getting more serious about playing sports. I thought the best way to get better was to start working out, so I started going to the weight room at my school.
I would try to do different exercises, but I was so weak I could barely lift the bar. As time went on, I got a little stronger, and I started to be a little more bold. One day, when I was doing the bench press exercise, I added more weight than I had ever done. I was by myself on one side of the room and some of my teammates were all the way on the other side. I thought I could handle it (You might be able to tell where this is going).
I took the bar off the rack. I held it above my face and took… three… deep… breaths. I slowly brought the bar down to my chest and when it touched, I began to push it back up… but nothing happened. The bar was stuck. It wasn’t moving. I was buried under the weight and I was panicking.
I began to squirm under the bar and call for help. My teammates couldn’t hear me. And then out of nowhere, my coach came walking up to me and I heard him say in a loud voice, “Men! This is why you always have a spotter.” And with a swift motion, he grabbed the bar with one hand and yanked it up to the rack… and saved me from my torture.
I was weak. He was strong.
I was using my own strength and thought I could handle the weight. And isn’t that the truth for us today? Many times we have a lot going on in our lives and we think we have the strength to handle it. But the truth is, we don’t. And we can’t.
And that’s OK.
We need to be OK with admitting we are weak. The Apostle Paul had no problem with this. In 2 Corinthians, he talks about having a thorn in his side that tormented him. He says, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
Most of us don’t like to admit we are weak and not many of us “delight” in difficulties. But Paul is giving us this great wisdom that we are to be proud weaklings! We need to know that it’s not our strength, but Christ’s that gives us power. We need to know that when we can’t do it all that it is OK. It’s actually good. And we should be proud when we don’t have it all figured out… delighted, even!
So this week, don’t get buried under the weight of your problems and hardships. Delight in them because then you’ll get to see Christ’s power at work! Share them with God and others. And always remember that His grace is sufficient for you and His power is made perfect in your weakness!