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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Strength and Weakness

During the Cold War America and the Soviet Union had an interesting philosophy dubbed MAD -- mutually assured destruction. The idea was "peace through strength." That is, if the other guy was pretty sure that you'd clobber him if he tried anything, he wouldn't try anything. Seems a bit strange, but, given the fact that no nuclear exchange ever took place despite the tensions, it appeared to have worked.

Oddly enough, "peace through strength" is not the Christian position. Get this.
He 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor 12:9)
Let's call that "peace through weakness."

I know. It's counterintuitive. We really want people to be well, healthy, strong. We want to avoid pain, both on our behalf and for those whom we love. That's normal. But Paul here is telling us that when we are weak, we can see His strength better. Therefore, "when I am weak, I am strong." (2 Cor 12:10)

It kind of puts things in a different light. We look around at the growing rumbles against our freedom of religion and think, "We have to do something! But what?" And God says, "My power is perfected in your weakness." We count the days to the next election and can't figure out which lousy candidate to vote for. And God says, "My power is perfected in your weakness." Every time we run into our own shortcomings, we give God a chance to shine. And He does.

I still pray that people I care about be healthy and strong. I still pray for the leadership of our country. I still plan to vote (at least for now). But it's a lot easier, considering all the weaknesses we have, to rest in the One whose strength is revealed in our weaknesses and in those weaknesses, then, we are actually strong. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

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