St. Paul makes what appears to be a terribly nonsensical statement: “whenever I am weak, then I am strong” (II Corinthians 12:10). This defies human logic. I know that, as far as my experience goes, whenever I am weak, then I am, well, weak. When I feel helpless to assist a friend who is grieving the loss of a parent, I am weak. When I have been battling insomnia, I am weak. When I lack the magnanimity of heart to reach out to a family member in need because I have yet to forgive them a past hurt, I am weak. And, weakness is trying and discouraging.
How can St. Paul speak of strength in weakness? Is he a stubbornly naïve optimist? No. He speaks of a power not his own. He speaks of the power of Christ. He tells of Jesus’ response to his request to be relieved of particular, particularly humiliating weakness (what exactly it is we do not know).
Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”
St. Paul discovered that Christ comes mysteriously to meet us in our weakness. How wonderful! I am not alone in my weakness. What freedom. What strength. My weakness need not have the last word. Indeed, St. Paul goes on to say, “So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me”.
Let us dare hope-fully to welcome Christ in our weakness and know the freedom of the children of God.
Yours in Him,
From the desk of the Rector