Posts Tagged ‘Weakness’


Journey of an Elder Brother Day Two

Grace

Elder brothers have a hard time understanding grace. O sure, we like the idea of all those riches given to us. But when it comes to the concept of doing NOTHING to obtain those riches, we just don’t get it. We are so used to EARNING our way. This world belongs to the strong, the hard working, the aggressive. Elder Brothers are goal oriented. If we don’t have goals to work toward, we are nothing. To think that someone weak and even lazy could get all those riches is repulsive to us. Elder Brothers like to boast of their accomplishments. How can you brag about something you did nothing to obtain?

Paul Rejoices in WeaknessPaul must have been an Elder Brother. He was driven. He was aggressive. He had a lot to brag about. But something happened to him. He was brought face to face with Jesus. He was brought face to face with how truly weak and insignificant he was. Jesus changed his heart. Even after he had the greatest experience any human can have, to be taken up to heaven, to hear words too marvelous to even be uttered, he told no one about it. He waited 14 years to even mention it. If he had been a real Elder Brother, he would have written a book, appeared on Oprah or something. No, something happened to Paul, something called grace.

Grace-and-the-Elder-BrotherIn 2 Corinthians 12 Paul mentions that experience of 14 years prior, but his emphasis is on his weakness, not his accomplishments.

Therefore, I have cheerfully made up my mind to be proud of my weaknesses, because they mean a deeper experience of the power of Christ. I can even enjoy weaknesses, suffering, privations, persecutions and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For my very weakness makes me strong in him.

Paul glories in Weakness2Elder Brothers need to experience grace. We can’t comprehend it with our brain. We have to know it first hand. Elder Brothers often become bitter and judgmental rather than experience humility through trials and hardship. Elder Brothers either try to cover up their weaknesses, and push on; or they experience God’s Grace when they do as Paul did, humble themselves and rejoice in their weaknesses.

Prayer: Father, enable me to rejoice in my weaknesses and to experience your grace. May I glory not in my accomplishments, but in Your Strength, Your Riches!

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God’s Power Shows Through the Cracks

1973spiritboostersWhen I was in Bible College I thought Christians were supposed to be happy all the time. I thought we should always be filled with joy, after all, we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit. My concept of true Christians was that they smile 24/7. If they cry or frown they are not living a victorious life in Christ. They should never worry or fear, for these are emotions that signal a lack of trust in Jesus Christ.

Tompkins Clan circa 1985Bible College gave way to real life, real problems, real babies (6), real sickness, real struggles. I discovered the Real Christian walk is actually very different. It is a display of power in weakness, joy amid pain, faith in the presence of doubt. I discovered that when I thought I was strong in the Lord, I was very conscious of my inabilities and inadequacies. When troubles came thundering upon me I was on the one hand confident of God’s purpose and power but on the other filled with fear and doubt. Even those moments of joy came with a realization that stress and worry were lurking behind the door. I have since learned to rejoice and even praise God for my weaknesses. God brought the power of 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 to bear on my life.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed– always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (NKJV)

hunk-of-mudI now realize that Christians are just hunks of mud blessed with the indwelling of the most amazing Treasure. We are filled with God Himself. God can only reveal His EXCELLENT Power through the cracks and broken pieces of my life. When I am weak He is strong. Every day my Christian walk is a quest to discover and experience the “exceeding greatness of HIS POWER! (Eph 1:19)

It is OK to cry, to feel stressed, to worry, to get down, but only as long as it reveals less of me and more of God. God wants me to realize how powerful He is, and how weak I really am.we-are-hunks-of-mud-in-gods-hands

Prayer: Father, thank you for breaking me and showing me how weak I really am. May You reveal Your Power through my life. Keep me very aware that I am just a hunk of mud being shaped by Your masterful and loving hands.

From PathwayofBlessing