Life is hard enough that most of us know we can’t get through it without enabling from outside ourselves. Christians know that this enabling comes from Christ. So: How do we position ourselves to have Christ’s power rest on us?
It’s a very real issue, whatever our challenge of the week. That challenge might be an emotionally complicated decision, tension with our children, managing our money (or lack of it), heading on a mission when we feel called but not confident, or doing handyman stuff when we’re prone to bending the nails. Whatever our obstacle, how do we place ourselves where Christ’s power – like Elijah’s power “resting on Elisha” (2 Kings 2:15), will rest on us?
Here is Saint Paul’s answer: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). (Note that phrase, “rest upon.” A deliberate echo, I think, of the Elisha story.)
What is Paul doing? He is boasting. And he is boasting “of [his] weaknesses”! And he is boasting “all the more gladly.”
Boasting (gladly!) about what we’re not good at: That’s as counter-intuitive as it gets.
Not all the examples I mention above apply to me: My children (for example) have flown the nest. But not being good at emotionally complicated decisions is on my weaknesses list, big time. Ditto handyman stuff. Sometimes, messy decisions have to be made – even by people weak at decision making. Ditto house-repairs. What do we do?
We follow Paul’s example: We boast in our weaknesses: “I’m weak at this. But the Lord of the weak is with me. May he magnify his strength in my weakness. Here goes (and may his power rest on me)!”
According to 2 Corinthians 12:9, it will.
© 2018 by Dave Perry