I've Fallen and He Can Get Me Up

Isaiah 40:29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

It didn't take too long past Hannah's (14) first steps, before I realized that boo boos hurt a lot worse if someone else sees them. Anytime she would take a tumble, Hannah would immediately turn to see if I was watching. If she knew I saw her, tears would spill down her cheeks. However, if I pretended not to notice, she would get right back up and keep toddling happily around.

I was reminded of this just a few months ago. It was Easter Sunday at Hope, so the parking lot was swarmed with cars and their passengers. As I happily jaunted out to my car, humming "He's Alive" to myself, my shoe turned and I hit the pavement head on. Immediately, I looked to see if anyone was "watching". No physical pain even registered, only the embarrassment of falling in front of a sea of people. I would be halfway home before I even realized my leg was bleeding. It only occurred to me this morning, that the embarrassment hurts worse because it's a public display of my weakness.

This morning's reading is the 26th Chapter of Acts. Paul is still in prison in Caesarea. The king over the region, Agrippa, is there visiting and desires to hear Paul's defense against the charges by the Jews. Paul's defense is eloquent and convincing. Both the local magistrate, Festus, and Agrippa concur that there is no foundation for Paul's death or imprisonment (Verse 31).

Paul had appealed to Caesar (Acts 25:11). As a Roman citizen, Paul had the right under trial to "appeal" his decision to Caesar. This would be an action similar to an American appealing a case to the Supreme Court. Had Paul done this in a moment of weakness and fear or under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit? God had already revealed to Paul that he would go to Rome (Acts 23:11). Was Paul just trying to "help" God along a bit?

Whether or not Paul appealed to Caesar out of fragility or a momentary lapse in faith, the secondary question that springs up is: Does God work in spite of my weaknesses? I intellectually know the answer to this question is a resounding yes. Today I want it to take root deep in my heart.
  • Acknowledge Them - "The Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. (Romans 8:26)" It is not a question of if I have weaknesses but whether I'm willing to humble myself before God and seek His help in my weaknesses. For many years, I was a Christian but still convinced I could handle pretty much any situation on my own using my intelligence, talents and abilities. Today I feel like I can hardly face a single circumstance without God's divine assistance. The level of my weakness has not changed. The level of my recognition of my weakness has changed.
  • Delight in Them - "I delight in weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 12:10)" This seems an odd thing in which to delight. There is almost no greater privilege Christian's have, than seeing the hand of God work in and through their lives. Without weaknesses, I'd be tempted to think I was the one doing the work. When I realize how vast my insufficiencies are, all doubt is removed as to Who is actually doing the work. My frailty means God gets all the credit. That is definitely something I can take delight in!

Jesus, I do delight in you. I stand in awe as I watch You work through someone ordinary like me. Thank you for allowing me to see the depth of my weakness, so that I can praise the height of Your greatness. Your power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

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