The beginning of this past week, I was at work. While I was gathering up dirty dishes and cleaning tables and whatnot, one of our guests approached me. He told me, “Thank you for everything that you do, I want you to have this”, and indicated for me to hold out my hand. When I did so, he slipped a wristband onto my wrist. While doing this, he thanked me for being a wonderful host. I will be honest, that little gesture made my day. It was my first time being a host to the guests at my job all by myself. I am not lying when I say I was a big ball of nerves, and my anxiety was through the roof!
But that gesture reassured me greatly. Do you know why? Because the wrist band said three little words, “God is Enough.” It is funny because a short while after that gesture, God made 2 Corinthians 12:9 stand out to me.
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. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Let me give you a little context to this verse. 2 Corinthians is a book written by Paul to not only refute false teachers but to also affirm his ministry as well as defend his authority as an apostle. In chapter 12, Paul told of a vision he had to indicate that he had been uniquely touched by God. But, to keep from becoming conceited, he speaks of a thorn in his flesh. This thorn was a debilitating problem that at times became a hindrance to his ministry. He asked God to remove this weakness three different times. However, verse 9, the verse above, is how God responded. To which Paul stated he would boast even more gladly about his weaknesses.
Everybody has some types of “weaknesses” that they may have asked God to get rid of on plenty of occasions. Everyone has that “thorn in their flesh.” And everyone’s thorns are different too. Personally, I see my shyness and social anxiety as my thorns. But does that mean all those who are shy or anxious see theirs as such? No. None the less though, I am filled with courage and hope. You should be too!
“My power is made perfect in weakness.” God is enough. He is all we need amidst our thorns. He will display his power through our weaknesses. Because of that, whenever we recognize a limitation, a thorn, or weakness of ours, we will depend more on God!
Think about it. Think of the areas you are strong in. When you are faced with a situation that calls for your strength, aren’t you tempted to rely on yourself? Aren’t you tempted to do it on your own? “Oh, I got this, this is easy!” This is stemmed from pride, which we are all struggling with to some degree in our lives.
Honestly, to me, I think we are weakest when we are strong, and strongest when we are weak. Because in our weakness, we are more likely to ask God for his strength. And let us be real, God’s strength far exceeds our own. He will help us be effective for him when we are faced with a situation that incorporates our weaknesses.
Being a dining hall host by myself for the first time, incorporated my weaknesses. First, I had to make announcements by a microphone on what the guests will be eating, as well as direct them on where to get coffee, where to put their dirty dishes, etc. I have to ask if any of them would like to say a prayer before they eat, and if no one does, I have to. Then, as they are eating, I have to converse with them, answer questions, and pretty much anticipate any of their needs before they make them known. You can see why I was very nervous, right? I am shy, and I struggle with anxiety!
But I knew what I had to do before I did it. I knew being a host called for me to act in areas I am weak in. So, what did I do? I prayed right before doing my host duties. I asked for God’s strength. The fact that that man, that guest, thanked me and put a wrist band on me for doing a wonderful job, as well as the fact that that wrist band said, “God is Enough,” proved something to me. I knew God was with me. He was the reason I was able to do a good job that day, in that situation.
God is truly enough; he is all we need. The good you see in me, the strength, that is all him! For when I am weak, then I am strong! Will you delight in your weaknesses along with 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 12:10