Our society has become one that is fully self-sufficient, to the point that we don’t need God any more. Do you need money? Get a loan! Do you need a spouse? Visit a dating site! Do you need a job? Quietly grease a palm and you are sorted! Do you want a child? Get a sperm donor and your problem is solved!
But wait – what happens when you find that you can’t do it all on your own, and your so-called inner strength runs out? You turn to God and discover that deep inside your weakness lies his strength.
It’s very hard to let God into our weakness, though. Most of us will look high and low for every possible solution before we finally acknowledge that we need him. When we do acknowledge that we need his strength, however, how should we behave or act? Let me share a bit of what I’ve learnt about this process below.
Trust in God
Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (NLT)
Some time last year I was unwell and found myself confined to the house for two months as any trip outside was too much to handle. As I pondered on the difficulty of my circumstances, and what God could be teaching me in all this, I remembered that my son was yet to be fully potty trained. I started training him – and guess what – he caught on quite fast. We had been praying for him to agree to use the potty for ages, but this was God’s perfect time for him to learn – when I was home with him.
God often uses our periods of weakness to remind us that he is a sovereign God who is in charge of everything around us. He also uses these seasons to mould us into better Christians so that we can live better lives for his glory. Though it is painful, trusting in him amidst the tears of weakness often turns out to be the best decision for the moment; a chance to watch him gradually turn your shadows into rays of sunlight.
Let God take charge
Plan A didn’t work? Why not try out Plan B, C or even D? I am guilty of using this approach often, and I am sure you are too! Here’s the thing, though, with every new ‘plan’, your weakness increases because you have to dig deep within yourself to find a fresh solution – a fresh solution that requires every ounce of strength you have. By the time you decide to turn to God, therefore, you are wasted!
Isn’t it easier to let God handle things? Yes, it is! He is wiser than we are, and he knows the end from the beginning. He knows when our weak moments are coming along, and patiently waits for us to call on Him when they do!
Proverbs 3: 5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (NLT)
Back to my season of illness. Yes, we were praying for healing, but also putting lots of faith in the doctors around us. One day, my pastor told me to relax and let God take charge. I looked at the pile of medication and thought he was joking, but decided to follow his instructions anyway. We all know how it goes – you say you will trust in God but you don’t really let Him take charge. Well, a few days later after I had an attack and had to rush to the hospital yet again, I got home and went on my knees before the Lord and cried my heart out. When I was done, the Lord was in charge, and I could relax and let him complete the healing process as he saw fit.
Friends, when you are weak, turn to God and ask him to handle whatever it is that is causing your weakness. Let him take charge over it and over your life, and wait patiently for Him to work things out.
Rest in God
“How can I rest when there is much to be done to ‘free’ myself from this situation?” I have asked myself this question many times, even when I know that it is in my best interests to rest in God.
Where does the need to rest come from? Simple – when you are weak, it is most likely because you are carrying around a heavy burden that is weighing you down with each passing day. Though you don’t enjoy carrying it, you wake up every morning, put it on your shoulder, and carry it around as you do your daily activities. By the end of the day, week, or even month, you are tired to the bone.
The verse below offers a beautiful promise for all those who are carrying burdens weighing them down.
Matthew 11:28 ‘Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” ‘(NLT)
Jesus, out of his love for us, offers to take the burdens on our behalf, and let us rest in Him. After he lifts the burden off our shoulders, he does not walk away and leave us to recover on our own; he stays on to comfort, reassure and restore us.
God also knows that these burdens we seem to enjoy carrying around affect our relationship with him. Now – you all know that a weak person is not really interested in much, right? In other words, during a season of weakness, it is unlikely that you will commune with God as effectively as you do when you are all fired up. God sees all this, and because he desires fellowship with you, offers to take that burden that is standing in the way of your relationship so that you can focus on him once again, and as a result, enter a place of rest in his presence.
Dear friends, if you are at a place of weakness right now, please don’t give up. Turn to the Lord, trusting in him as you release whatever it is that is weighing you down to him, exchanging it for his rest. When you do so, even though it may take a while to regain your strength, you will enjoy the peace that comes with being in his presence as you focus on him.
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (NLT)