Trusting God

Strength in Weakness

This afternoon, I was reading Feminine Appeal by Caroline Mahaney*, and she quotes the following story by Pastor Robert D. Jones:

The story is told of a dad who asked his young son to lift a very heavy object, a weight far beyond the little boy’s capacity. The object would not budge. “Try again, son.” The boy tried again with no success. “Son, you’re not using all your strength.” The boy tried again, but still the object would not move. “Son, you’re still not using all your strength.”
“Oh, Daddy, Daddy, I’m trying,” grunted the boy as he strained at the immovable object. “I’m using all my strength.”
“No, you’re not, son,” replied the father. “You haven’t asked me to help!” **

weights [DSC00349]Aren’t we like the boy in the story? We try to carry so many heavy burdens. Our legs feel like they would snap at the sheer weight of it all. Some burdens, we feel, are just too much to bear. We try to muster up the strength, only to crumble and fall flat on our faces. It would seem easier just to stay down. This is how I felt when I went through a period of depression a couple of years ago because I felt like I couldn’t carry the weight of taking care of a child with special needs. Only when I began to lay my burdens on Christ did I begin to look up and see that all things are possible with Him.

This story was just a wonderful reminder that God gives His children abundant riches, and one of those riches is His strength. He gives it freely, and yet, we don’t take it. It is His mercy to allow us to fail, to experience our utter weakness, so that we can discover the strength He is already offering us.

“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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me … when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)


* From Caroline Mahaney, Feminine Appeal, Wheaton, Illinois, Crossway, 2004, p. 119-120.

** From Robert D. Jones, “Learning Contentment in All Your Circumstances,” The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 21, No. 1, Fall 2002, p. 58.

(Photo Credit: the_green_squirrel)

33 thoughts on “Strength in Weakness”

  1. I have a blog, amrapoetry.wordpress… It expresses my “re-discovery” of the Christian faith. If some of you go to this blog, you might be able to understand how it feels to be re-born.

  2. I’m “special needs” myself, n’ understands what it is to not be understood. He has made me into a different man, one that understands his needs but understands the needs of others more than his.

    1. Thank you for your comment. You are absolutely right! God’s word tells us to “regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). God bless you!

  3. This is my life verse and I praise Him that He used you and this story to remind me that I am to thank Him for the thorn of weakness because when I am weak, I am strong, because Christ’s spirit rests on me. Thank you for sharing…I needed to see this today!!

  4. We so easily forget that any spiritual “strength” we may have comes from God. It isn’t something we have naturally. Though I battled stuttering growing up and then later in my 20’s I can’t imagine what it must be like to have the care of a special-needs child. I liked the line about His mercy allowing us to fail, in order that we might discover His strength. May you and yours and your readers have a blessed Easter.

    1. Thank you for your words! My son is only 7 years old, and it is hard to imagine what his life will be like as an adult. It is encouraging to meet others, like you, who also had challenges growing up but were not hindered by them in living for The Lord.

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