I’m tired. According to my not-so-reliable Fitbit I slept 4 hours and 29 minutes last night. I was awake on 3 separate occasions. I was restless 9 times. I’m not even sure how they measure restlessness, but whoever they do it, I was it 9 times. Before you feel the least bit sorry for me, I should let you know this is not normal. I usually have no problem with my beauty rest. I typically sleep like a baby. I know God doesn’t need me awake to run the world so I usually sleep just fine, but today I’m tired. When I’m tired I feel weak. I don’t like being weak and I suspect you don’t either.
Weakness reminds me of my limitations. I live much of my life trying to avoid situations in which I’m limited or helpless. I want to live a life of independence. I like to pursue areas of strength and avoid areas where I’m weak. I want to be knowledgable. I want to feel sure of myself and qualified to tackle whatever is in front me. That’s the reason me and weakness don’t get along. We are cordial, but if we never crossed paths again I would be ok with it. In fact, I think life would be better if we didn’t meet up. So you can imagine my disappointment when I made the mistake of reading this devotional thought by Paul David Tripp on the very day I was feeling tired and weak:
…your weakness is not the great danger to you that you think it is. Rather, the great danger is your delusion of strength, because if you think you’re strong, then you don’t seek the help that you desperately need from the One who is the ultimate source of strength of every kind. This is why Paul says: “But he said to me, ‘My grace…sufficient for you, 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 on me” (2 Cor. 12: 9). You see, knowledge of personal weakness is a blessing from God. If you understand this, it means that, by grace, he has delivered you from bondage to the delusion of your independent ability to be what he created you to be and to do what he calls you to do. So now you are free to seek the real strength that you need, strength that is found only in his capable and gracious hands. The delusional assessment of independent strength locks you out of the place where true strength is found. The hopelessness of weakness is the only door to the hope of real strength. Grace exposes how deep your need really is, then takes you by the hand to where lasting strength can be found. So you can boast in what most people fear because you have been and are being saved by grace.
Could it be that weakness is not the enemy I think it is, but a merciful reminder that I stand in need of what only God can give? Today, in my weariness and weakness, I’m praying that God will show me his all sufficient grace. I hope you’ll join me praying the same. Thankfully, in our weakness there’s enough grace to go around.