Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Weakness... Advent of Joy #23

“…and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”
1 Corinthians 1:25b

So what about weakness? Have there been times in your life where you have viewed God as being weak?

I know I have.

Think about Joseph. Here he was, given dreams by God of his brothers and father bowing down to him. Yet, God allowed him to be sold into slavery… thrown in a dungeon. How could that possibly be a path to leadership? From Joseph’s point of view, it had to look like God wasn’t in control. Here he was in a deep, dark place, given these dreams. It had to cross his mind that maybe it wasn’t right, he was wrong and God was too weak to control the whims of men.

But then, at the end, Joseph saw the bigger plan. He stuck with God and got through his questioning, and saw how God intended to save His chosen people. God’s apparent weakness was way stronger than anything anyone could do to Joseph.

How crazy it must have been for Moses’ mother needing to protect her baby. In her strength she saw the need to protect her son, by setting him in the reeds along the river Nile. She must have thought that God was out of control as she saw all the baby boys around her being killed.

I wonder if she saw the power of God as Moses grew up safe in the Pharoah’s household. I wonder if she saw and knew how God saw it all and pulled everything together for the people of Israel to be released from captivity.

What about when the Israelites came to the edge of the Red Sea, resting from their walking right out of Egypt? What about when they saw the cloud of dust behind them and realized the Egyptians were coming to destroy them? Did they think that God was too weak to save them? I can just imagine the panic.

Then God showed up. He saved them by a pillar of fire, and by suddenly splitting the Red Sea. He showed that He wasn’t without power or strength. What seemed like weakness, in allowing them to be driven to the edge of the sea, in allowing all the years of slavery to increase the number of His chosen people, turned out to be God showing that His weakness was by far more powerful than man’s strength.

The things that God allowed in my life over the years seemed so crazy. It seemed like that God was totally out of control. It seemed like God didn’t care, and that He was too weak to take into account the choices others would make. The choices I would make. The depression. The suicidal thoughts. The pain and hurt from my decisions and the decisions of others. The trust broken.

But God. He has healed me, and continues to work on my heart and heal me even more. He allowed those things into my life to bring me to a place where I can see what He is doing to prepare me for ministry. His power has been proved over and over in my life.

No matter where I go or what I do, I can see how God has been working to bring me to this point of healing. The process I have gone through has shown me that you can get through things like I have experienced. And it has given me a compassion for others who need to know this healing; who need to know that God truly isn’t weak, but more powerful than we could ever grasp. His strength is perfect, and He can see beyond our horizons. He knows where we have been at, and where He is taking us.

We may be wandering in the wilderness. We may be preparing to cross the Jordan River to conquer the land promised to us. We may be in a place that He is providing exactly what we need, in the exact amount that we need for each day.

I may be struggling with understanding what in the world these things are, that keep coming into my life. Why do I still deal with anxiety and depression periodically? But God sees far beyond what I can, and He knows what He is doing.

He is not weak… His weakness is much stronger than my strength. He has shown that over and over in my life.

His foolishness is wiser than my wisdom and His weakness is stronger than my strength.
I praise Him for that and draw joy and strength for rediscovering that today and through my pastor’s sermon this week.

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