For when I am weak, then I am strong…

17 Jan

Some people might think that Oprah is an amazing woman. She is a self-made woman, who by her own strength arrived to where she is today: admired by millions, a mentor to thousands… yet, I believe, very lonely and utterly unhappy. Others might think that Hilary Clinton is an amazing woman. She is an intellectual, a career woman, a feminist and an achiever, respected by thousands of women… yet, I believe, very lonely and utterly unhappy.

A few days ago was the monthly meeting of our book club. And as I sat there, around this table – and actually much later as I was lying awake in my bed, past 12… – I was reminded that I was surrounded by amazing women.

What do you say of a woman whose mum and brother got murdered when she was only a toddler, a woman that had to learn to grow up without the soft comfort of an unconditional love; a woman who despite her circumstances accepted a Saviour who would love her the way she needed to; a woman who today can stand firm in the strength of the Lord loving her own daughters with unrestrained force, without being an emotional wreck? I think this is an amazing woman.

What do you say of a woman who was sexually abused; a woman who could draw a penis before she could spell it; a woman who went on to marry a man who cheated on her; a woman that trusts the Lord so much that in Him who loves her, she finds the strength not only to stay with her husband but to love him daily; a woman who  seeks to deeply nurture her sons so that in turn, they too will love Jesus? I think this is an amazing woman.

What do you say of a woman who grew up with a single mother and quite a few siblings; a woman that never had a father figure to comfort her and teach her about boys; a woman who had to prematurely say goodbye to her sister and carry the weight of loss; a woman who has to believe that God is good even when it doesn’t feel like it? I think this is an amazing woman.

What do you say of a woman who also had to grow up without a dad and who had to forgive him for all the pain and hurt that he caused her; a woman who through the love of an indescribable God and a wonderful mum got to learn to love that God; a woman who is now a counsellor and teacher of many? I think this is an amazing woman.

I’ve learnt so much through their example in the midst of their struggles than I ever would from the strength of others. I have been challenged and encouraged by their humble vulnerability and their perseverance in the Lord. This verse in 2 Corinthians 12 has been many times over illustrated with their example.

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.

The grace of God is so abundant that His divine power is best displayed against the backdrop of human weakness so that God alone is praised.Rather than removing our problem, God gives us grace in it because his grace is sufficient to provide contentment and keeps us from becoming conceited.

It’s a strange concept that in the midst of struggles, the evidence of Christ’s power brings glory to Him, not ourselves. For when we are weak, then Christ, by His strength, can make us strong, for His sake.

Many of those women that I’m surrounded with are truly amazing women, not in the eyes of the world. Not because they can stand in their own strength, but because in the strength of the Lord, they can say that when they are weak, they are strong.

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One Response to “For when I am weak, then I am strong…”

  1. Debbie January 20, 2009 at 9:45 pm #

    Hi Ingrid
    This is a very beautiful and very couageous post.
    Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge all these wonderful women who have all been through trials and joys and who continue to walk with the Lord.
    It is wonderful that we can all be an inspiration to each other at different times, sometimes without even knowing it but just by being.

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