Church Blog

Willing to be Weak

Chad Haygood

Richard Sibbes, who Garrett mentioned in his sermon a couple of weeks ago, was a 16th and 17th century pastor and theologian. In perhaps his most famous work, The Bruised Reed, he said these words:

As a monther tendereth most the most diseased and weakest child, so doth Christ most mercifully incline to the weakest, and likewise putteth an instinct into the weakest things to rely upon something stronger than themselves for support.

Sibbes offers an incredible amount of hope for someone like me, someone who is very familiar with weakness. I don't like it, but it's still very familiar to me. For many different reasons, we often find ourselves aquainted with weakness. Sickness, circumstances, struggles are serve to remind us how weak we really are.

Despite our natural inclination to avoid weakness, in God's economy, weakness is not an emeny but a friend. We know this from Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 12. In verse 9 Paul says, "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" The Apostle Paul, while battling this thorn in the flesh, discovered that this thorn was an instrument of God to be used for his good. Through this thorn, God was humbling him and making him more dependent on the Lord.

It's in this dependency upon God that we find our greatest strength. It's in our weaknesses that we discover the nearness of Christ. Indeed, God draws close to those who are weak. Weakness serves our good, not our demise.

What this means is that we need to do at least two things when we find ourselves weak. First, we must acknowledge our weakness. Rather than disguising it or hiding it, we should acknowledge it. Second, we should cast ourselves upon the Lord who works in our weaknesses. We don't look for inner strength to make up for our weakness, instead we look to the Lord and discover that "his power is made perfect in weakness."

We all want to be strong. What we must see is that strength is found in weakness. When we are weak, we are strong. Far from being an enemy, weaknesses serve us. They draw us near to Christ and push us to depend upon him. What we soon realize as we struggle and toil in our weakness is that, as the title of J.I. Packer's book so aptly says, "Weakness is the way."