Weakness Equals Strength

The apostle Paul said some confusing things. At certain points in his letters, as you a reading along you may begin to wonder if this guy was a little crazy. (Read Romans 7 for a little trip down confusion alley!)

I have recently come to a deeper understanding of at least one passage.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (CEB): “So, I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me.  Therefore, I’m all right with weaknesses, insults, disasters, harassment, and stressful situations for the sake of Christ, because when I’m weak, then I’m strong.”

What? Seriously, Paul? How in the world do we take pleasure in being weak?

This passage confused me because generally I don’t want to be weak, I don’t want to be insulted and I don’t want any more stressful situations. But Paul said he welcomed them because it made him stronger.

It all became clearer to me when I started doing daily workouts. A workout consists of lifting weights and increasing your heart rate. You lift weights until you fail. You get your heart going until you hit your max rate.

During the workout, you are fatigued and sore. After the workout you do not feel any stronger. This continues for weeks. You question yourself. You look for ways to get out of it. You make up weak excuses to avoid it. But then, after two or three months, you notice changes. Small changes.  After a year, you look like a new person! Clothes fit. You don’t need a break after taking the groceries out of the car.

Yet, every day, you feel the weakness and failure of the workout. But you’re getting stronger.  At no time during the workout do you feel strong. That’s the point. You feel it later. In order to feel strong, you have to feel weak.

I get it now, Paul. I get it.