“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
-2 Corinthians 12:8-9
Notice the phrase “My power works best in weakness.” Do you believe that? I have often wished I was like someone else. I have wished I could sing better, jump higher, was more handsome, smarter, and could speak without stumbling over words that I can’t remember! I am a pastor and am supposed to speak on Sunday mornings. Often, while speaking, I can’t think of the word I want to use! It sure doesn’t help if you wish to speak eloquently! This verse, however, says that God’s power works best in my weakness. I guess the question is: Do I want to look good, or do I want God to look good? Do I want people to see me, or do I want them to see Him who made it all?
The great Ludwig van Beethoven seems to have wished he was different. He says about himself: “Beethoven can write music, thank God, because he can’t do anything else!” I had to laugh when I read his quote about himself. I can identify with him. Maybe he couldn’t do anything else, but I am sure glad he could write music! Did you know that his early skills at music and the violin were decidedly less than impressive? His teachers thought him hopeless. It was his father who saw the potential in him and took over his education. Beethoven slowly lost his hearing throughout his life, yet four of his greatest works were composed when he was completely deaf! God’s power works best in weakness.
Jason Gray, singer-songwriter, has a speech impediment that causes him to stutter. When he was younger and began to be aware that God had a calling on his life, he was convinced that he had to be healed, but no healing ever came. “He (God) began to put me in places where I had to speak, even though I didn’t think I could do it very well. I learned early on that He uses us in spite of our weaknesses, but more often than not, exactly because of our weaknesses,” Jason said. God’s power works best in weakness.
Still not convinced? Listen to what one well-known pastor says about himself: “I was born with a disorder in my brain chemistry that makes public speaking excruciatingly painful for me. It is a genetic problem that is resistant to any medication. I am allergic to adrenaline. First, I get dizzy. My vision blurs and then it blacks out. Sometimes I get headaches – severe headaches and sometimes severe hot flashes. Any of you who have ever seen me speak have seen me wipe my face. But the most common reaction to this is an absolute sense of irrational panic. Sometimes I’m speaking, and I cannot even see the audience.” Can you guess who it is? It is Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church and author.
Why would God do such a thing? God’s power works best in weakness. Rick Warren also said, “I have met many pastors who are very interested in declaring their spirituality. But I haven’t met too many pastors in my life who are interested in declaring their humanity. But your humanity is actually one of your greatest strengths.”