May 13, 2009


2 Corinthians 12:1-10

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9


My wife remembers reading teenage mystery stories in which the heroine was so brilliant and beautiful that she had everything going for her. She could learn Chinese fluently in a couple of weeks, and she drove around in a fancy sports car.

Really believable characters, however, are those with weaknesses. For one thing, they’re more like us. I will never forget Tiny Tim in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. He was a boy who walked with a crutch. His father, Bob Cratchit, brought him to church on Christmas Day. Later, Mrs. Cratchit asked her husband how Tim had been. “As good as gold and better,” said Bob. “He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in church, because it might be pleasant to them to remember on Christmas Day the one who made lame people walk and blind people see.”

One of the hardest things to accept is that we have weaknesses and cannot do all the things we may want to do. As Christians, we must also accept that we do not have all the gifts of the Spirit but depend on others to work with us in God’s strength for the sake of the kingdom. Missionaries often feel this acutely as they are called to bring a message from God. We need to realize that God can use us in our weakness. In fact, his power shines out all the better because of our weakness.

O God, when we think we have been going it alone in our work for you, help us to realize you have been carrying us and providing us with others to help. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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