Debbie Salter Goodwin
An Amazing Exchange!
I don’t know how I’m going to make it! is the scream I hear inside my head. It comes from hitting some energy or confidence wall. It doesn’t matter whether it is real or not. The cry paralyzes me and sabotages every best effort.
I remember accepting the college teaching job that took me 470 miles away from family and everything familiar. It was a scary and exhilarating possibility until it seemed to expose every weakness I had about myself. I thought getting this job was proof enough to keep self-doubt at bay.
I was wrong.
Into that bottomless pit of recognizing that my best strengths weren’t enough to compensate for my weaknesses, God introduced me to a lesson from His Word I will never forget.
My power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Nothing opens possibilities for God more than a cry for help from an honest understanding of your shortcomings. Weakness is a gift and a curse. We can run from it, deny it, or ignore it at our own undoing. Sooner or later there is a stare down. We must face the unchangeable fact that we are a tangle of strengths and weaknesses. We live in the unsettling tug of war between them.
But how could weakness birth power? It didn’t make sense. I wanted God to take away my weaknesses. But this verse told me that in some unbelievable exchange, God would use my weakness as raw material to give me His power.
In that moment of truth, I had a choice. I could fight the losing battle of putting mind over matter and pretend that my weaknesses, born of fears and insecurities, did not matter. Or I could surrender my weaknesses to God as openings for His power.
I chose what God could do over what I could not.
An amazing journey began with that understanding. My weaknesses keep me tethered to my need for God. When He repurposes a weakness as a carrier of His power, I become His work, not mine. It takes all the faith I can muster to step into that place of empowerment. But when I do, restraint and self-control trump fear.
I cannot assume this power. That is an arrogance that does not wear well.
I must agree with about God about what He already knows, that I am full of weakness. When I refuse to hide my worst beliefs about myself and acknowledge them before God, He tells me who He knows I can be in Him.
Then, I throw my weaknesses at His feet like trash I cannot recycle. He uses them to remind me that His All-Power fills my all-need. This exchange makes me at one with Him. I am humbled, surrendered, and completely possessed. I become His servant ready to live the empowerment available to do His will.
I refuse to live without this irresistible grace for all I am not.
What about you? What is your most important lesson about God’s power made perfect in weakness? Are you still living it?
Sharing the journey,