Sing, Daughter Zion; shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:14-17
No one wants to be perceived as weak. We would rather put our weaknesses aside and attempt to be strong for others. It seems that as long as we can keep busy and look strong, then we don’t feel as weak. After all, no one throws a parade for the weak. Parades are for heroes.
Yet, in God’s economy our perceived strengths often get in the way. If we can do for ourselves, then why do we need God?
A week ago, David Ring, an evangelist with cerebral palsy, spoke at our Christmas Blessings Banquet at Brookwood Church. The banquet is a ministry to disabled folks in our community and their families and caregivers.
Many people have heard of David Ring. He’s been preaching for 37 years in over 6,000 churches and speaks to over 100,000 people every year.
He starts with his classic line, “I have cerebral palsy. What’s your problem?” David asked our audience if they had noticed that he had a speech impediment. Then, in his wry humor, he says, “Oh, I’m in South Carolina. Everyone has a speech impediment in South Carolina.” He’s a character.
David lost his father when he was very young. Then, his mother died when he was 14-years-old. He spent the rest of his growing up years in foster care.
I was struck by David’s attitude about his mother’s death. He said that if his mother hadn’t died, he wouldn’t have been married. He wouldn’t have four children. He wouldn’t be in the ministry. He would be at home tugging on his momma’s apron strings.
David went on to say that if he had the choice of having cerebral palsy or being completely healthy, he would choose cerebral palsy. His reason: “When I am weak, God is strong.” It was a little difficult for any of us to have a pity party that day.
The Apostle Paul said, “But [God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
How do you feel weak today? How can your weakness reveal God’s strength? God doesn’t want to keep you down through weakness. He wants you to see how helpless and limited you really are, so then you can see how He can give you His strength.
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