“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 NIV)
“It’s a good thing you’re not a girl.” My wife recently declared after seeing the post op scar on my left arm.
“Yes, I agree… for a lot of reasons. But you have to admit. It’s a great “man scar!” I exclaimed while lifting up my arm and pointing at the 8 inch jagged scar.
I recently had surgery on my arm to remove a growth on my wrist. Praise the Lord that it was benign. Now, I just have four more weeks in a brace and a lot of therapy and hard work to rebuild it. It’s slow going, but I hope to be able to play the guitar again. I hope to be a two-handed preacher again too (I don’t feel like I’m preaching as good one-handed).
Having this surgery and being unable to work for most of two weeks has been a revelation. I’ve learned that I don’t like being weak. I mean, I really don’t like it. I don’t like having to depend on others. I don’t like having to wear a plastic bag over my arm in the shower. I don’t like not being able to think clearly because of pain pills. I don’t like being grumpy (which makes me more grumpy). I don’t like being unable to do what needs being done.
I have been addicted to my ability to perform, to be strong. to be a “can do” kind of man. And when I can’t… I don’t like it.
The apostle Paul was a driven man too. If anyone was strong and determined it was him. But along the way he learned that it was better to be weak and let the power of Christ “rest on” him. I think Paul must have learned to accept God’s grace for him without a sense of having to perform to earn it. I think Paul learned to “boast” about his weaknesses and scars because through them the power of Christ was revealed.
As we’ve been studying the Ten Commandments together during these past weeks, I’m reminded that God gave them to us not because he wanted us to be strong enough to keep them through our own self effort. No, He gave them to us as a mirror that revealed in us our inability, our weakness to keep them without Him. We don’t need more human strength, we need the power of Christ.
And we need His grace too. I’m glad that the more I depend on HIm and admit my own weakness, the more He can do through me.
So, I’m boasting in my new “man scar.” I’ll show it to you the next time we meet. I think you’ll agree, it’s a good one.