“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJ
If you would ask art historians, “What is the greatest work of art in history”, many would agree that Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel is the preeminent masterpiece! The irony is that when the famed artist was commissioned to do the work by Pope Julius II, he was both angry at the commission and reticent to agree to the undertaking. In his thirties at this point, he had devoted all of his artistic focus and talents to sculpting. He had not painted since he was an apprentice as a teenager. Michelangelo believed that jealous peers had persuaded the Pope to commission him because they believed he was destined to fail in this very public endeavor. Feeling that he had no choice but to accept the commission, he began the four-year effort toward what would become arguably the greatest work of art in history. His weakness became his strength, leading to his greatest artistic contribution.
Michelangelo was a man with a passion for the Lord, who designed his work in the Chapel to complement the worship that would be offered there. It is a shining example of how, in Christ, those very areas we believe to be weaknesses can be turned into strengths. The same holds true for you.
What are the areas of your life that you have written off as failures because you have had to acknowledge that these are just weaknesses of yours? Maybe you have been frustrated with aspects that in your life are important, but until now have been failures, because you are quite simply weak in those areas. Have you just accepted that you are not good at parenting? Perhaps you have learned to lower expectations in your marriage because you are not a good communicator. Maybe your life occupation has been a series of failures because it makes demands upon you that do not draw upon your strengths but upon your weaknesses. Take heart and be encouraged because in Jesus those weaknesses can be turned into strengths! Look at the promise offered regarding this from Philippians 4:13, “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].”
You are equal to anything in your life that up until now has been a weakness. When you acknowledge that you’re unable in your own ability, you can turn that area over to Jesus. Once given to Him, Jesus will “infuse” you with the inner strength required to turn that weakness into an area of strength. In fact, if you look again at our opening verse above, we are reminded that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. That word “perfect” means “fulfilled and completed”. When I let go and allow Him to move through my life, the fullness of His power works its full power to my complete victory.
What we usually do is to admit our weakness and failure and then brace ourselves to simply endure. What we should do in every impossible situation is not to quit, but release control and then prepare to walk in His strength and miracle power. It is at this point that your weaknesses will become your strengths. Those areas you previously ceded to defeat will become the areas in your life that set an example of excellence to others because in Him your weakness becomes a strength!
J Todd Hostetler