Alive: 47 Days of Lent, Day 21

Alive: Embrace vulnerability

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 12:9-10 NIV

Paul, an apostle of Jesus, was important in the eyes of the people of the church in Corinth. He was their pastor, teacher, and famous all over the region. 

In the Roman Empire, it would have been unusual to be willing to express weakness. Many people today struggle to show any kind of vulnerability. You rise to the top by being strong. But the way of the kingdom is different. 

If you or I were faced with difficulty or hardship, our instinct, like Paul’s, might be to pray for them to be removed (2 Corinthians 12:8). Paul’s prayer was answered, but not in the way he was expecting: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

This answered prayer meant that Paul could be honest about his weaknesses, because he was following the way of the cross – even though it looked like foolishness to the world (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Dear God,

Help me to trust you even in weakness. Help me to boast not in my own strength, but only in the cross where defeat is turned to victory and death is turned to life. Amen.

Author: Rev. Ben Doolan, St Thomas the Martyr, Newcastle

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