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Comfortable with Weakness

I will rejoice and be glad in your faithful love because you have seen my affliction. You know the troubles of my soul and have not handed me over to the enemy. You have set my feet in a spacious place. Be gracious to me, Lord, because I am in distress; my eyes are worn out from frustration — my whole being as well. Indeed, my life is consumed with grief and my years with groaning; my strength has failed because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away....But I trust in you, Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' The course of my life is in your power; rescue me from the power of my enemies and from my persecutors. Make your face shine on your servant; save me by your faithful love. - 31:7-10, 14-16 (CSB)

I've found so much peace lately in the words of Psalm 31, because I can sympathize deeply with the sentiment of David. I can sympathize with the feeling of insuffency, of burnout, of frustration, of regret, of weakness. I feel as if David's words have me waking up to a subtle little lie I have begun to believe- that Jesus is more attracted to the parts of me that are holy than the parts of me that are weak.

There is a correlation between Jesus' apparent distance, and our attempt to distance ourselves from weakness. When we begin to store up pride in our hearts and try to summon our own strength to carry us throughout the day, we're lying to ourselves about the nature of who we are in the first place- people who need Jesus.

Its our weakness and how we acknowledge it within ourselves that helps shape how we treat our own identity and our relationship with God.

We're weak. And that's one of the most fundamental things we must realize about ourselves. Not in a negative self-talk type of way. Not to dwell on it in an unhealthy way. But as a fact to acknowledge. We are weak, but there is so much power in looking at an obstacle in life and saying, "You know what? I actually can't do this on my own." Beacause faking strength is a sure way to kill the soul and close ourselves off to the power of the Holy Spirit.

"But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'" - James 4:6

And the good news is, when we open ourselves up to acknowledging all the places we fail, we are open to recieving infinate grace in those areas of our lives.

For those who lack discipline, or patience, or whatever it may be, don't shy away from that weakness but instead get aquanited with it. Jesus doesn't merely not shy away from our fallen nature but is drawn to our weakness. Charles Spurgeon once noted in a sermon :

"God does not need your strength: he has more than enough power of his own. He asks your weakness: he has none of that himself, and he is longing, therefore, to take your weakness, and use it as the instrument in his own mighty hand. Will you not yield your weakness to him, and receive his strength?"

It's so, so beautiful to think that if any one of us struggle to find Jesus in our lives, if any one of us is desperate to hear His voice, seek our your weaknesses and you will find Him there, working.

 "But 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." - 2 Corinthians 12:9-11

He disarms us of all our tactics we used to preserve our dignity and manufacture our strength. Christ gives us the gift of letting go of personas and masks. To return to Psalm 31, when David says to the Lord, "You have set my feet in a spacious place", I think he was saying : thank you for giving me the space.

Space to breathe again, to be broken, to be weak. Room to be frustrated, to be exhausted, to be spiritually dry. Our God knows our pain deeper than we do, for He makes Himself vulnerable enough to feel all of it to the uttermost.

There is not a temptation we have faced that He has not.

There is not a been a season of deep grief He has not felt.

There has not been a tear fall down our faces that He has not shared.

When Christ placed His body and blood on the table and invited everyone to commune with Him, He was not merely offering us His strength, but He was opening Himself to our pain, our weakness.

When Jesus said, "come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28), He was not merely offering to take a crushing weight from our shoulders, but He was opening Himself to feeling the crushing weight Himself.

He takes our weaknesses, if we are not too afraid to acknowledge them. If our pride can handle being stripped away from us, if we can hold back the urge to earn His love.

And if you're not quite sure where to begin, or can't pinpoint a weakness within you, ask youself:

Where is it I go when my heart is anxious?

What distraction is your instinctual go-to? Is it seeking to control the lives of those around you? Is it maybe obsessively loving others to the point of neglecting and exhausting yourself? Is it reading the Word not out of love but to make yourself feel better about where you're at in your journey?

The moment you've begun to feel discomfort, you've hit on a weakness. I'm convinced that discomfort is the response of the flesh to the King of Glory entering in, and the heart's response to feeling a little nudge of conviction from the Spirit.

And I promise you, in the midst of that discomfort is the God of all comfort, waiting patiently to provide you with strength in your insuffiency. Be honest with Him, for "He knows the troubles of our soul". He feels our weakness, and He longs to take it from out of your hands so you might be washed afresh by mercy, by grace.

Jesus felt all our weaknesses and yet He is without sin, so while our anxious hearts may be drawn to all the wrong things, His heart is unflinchingly drawn to us. Allow yourself to enter His presence not out of your own strength, but out of your weakness, because it's that He wants. There is more to you than what makes you weak, but you cannot be shaped into the person you were created to be until you allow Him to heal that in you.

Jesus, I enter your courts because I'm exhausted, I'm easily distracted, I'm anxious, I'm tired.

And finally we have the freedom to see that even on our worst days He saw the troubles of our soul, and He has not handed us over to the enemy. We are safe in the palm of His hand, safe even when we are so feeble we cannot stand up, so brokenhearted we cannot summon our own might, so tearful we cannot utter a word in prayer.

We kneel in our weakness and we can hear God speak into it: welcome to your safe place, your spacious place. Every tear that falls here will not be wasted.

Because someday, we'll look up in this wasteland and we'll discover a garden in its place. The Light will stream in, and He will shine down on the face of His beloved. You are safe here to be weak, because here, He is strong.


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