May 1, 2013

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

VastI spent the other day traveling by road through beautiful and extraordinary country.  My family and I trekked through the rolling expanses of the high desert.  The hills are green and colorful with a mind-boggling variety of grasses and wildflowers.  A buffet of colors feeding the appetite of color-starved eyes, an enjoyment that must be relished as they will soon be turned into a uniform brown under the heat of June.  We bisected large fields of fertile soil that had been reclaimed to productivity by the miracle of water.  Fields prepared and planted in hopes of future harvest.

We crossed geologic ranges that had been cut deep to allow us to pass at a grade that eases our fears and hurried my passing. These fascinating cuts dissect the bones of mountains; bones that had been twisted, uplifted, pressed, and layered.  I desired to spend more time marveling their mysteries than a fleeting glance at 60 mph could provide.  The triumph of each range yielded a new treasure to behold; wide valleys surprisingly tucked under the protective guardianship of imposing peaks.  The descent into the valleys presented splendid foothills arrayed with vineyards and orchards; fruit trees white blossoms and vines full of fresh new green leaves.

As we traveled further to the Northwest, the trees changed from a preponderance of aspens, maples, and elms into realm of the fir and pines.  We sped through mountains covered with the splendor of eminence timber still covered with a dusting of white snow.  We skirted the edge of high mountain lakes.  We shared the gorges of rushing rivers beginning to surge with the first fruits of the coming spring run-off.

Our road followed the rivers along a meandering route to our destination.  The closer our travels came to ending, the more my senses recoiled under the transition from natural magnificence into the construct of man.  Our route took us from wide open blues skies with billowing clouds begging for interpretation into stop-and-go traffic and high-rise structures of steel and glass.

The majority of our day was consumed in the awe of great and diverse expanses.

I always feel small in the presence of the grand.  I feel stretched thin against a limitless horizon.  I am weak and powerless against the crushing weight of the massive.  The greater the magnificence the more minuscule I am.  My weak and fleeting existence cannot be denied when confronted by the greatness of this beautiful world that we have been given.  I cannot constrain my soul from worshipping my Lord when my weakness is so profoundly demonstrated to my mind.

Traffic jam

Traffic jam (Photo credit: buzrael)

I was startled by how quickly this worshipful attitude evaporated upon entering the constrained environment of the populated.  By necessity, my eyes were drawn away from vast expanses and onto the bumper of the car in front of me.  I was snapped from a thinness imposed by the limitlessness of God and into the bloated claustrophobia of men’s creations.  I found it so easy to be consumed by thoughts of our tasks ahead and harder to be lost in worship.

I often wonder why God made the world the way He did.  Why did He make mountains with rugged peaks?  Why did He make oceans with horizons that do not end?  Why did He make weather of such immense power?

Maybe, it is in part to make us feel small.

I can easily deceive myself of fleeting importance when I am not contrasted against divine permanence.  Maybe, God made the world the way that He did in order to remind us that we are weak.  We so often seek to avoid our weakness.  We try to hide our powerlessness.  We work to convince our minds that we are not dust.  However, we are fading flowers.  We are here today and gone tomorrow.  We must be reminded of this reality.  We will rarely come to this conclusion on our own.  We must be forced to look upon our weakness.

Our weakness is a gift of surpassing worth that should be embraced.  It is a gift that reminds us that we will always be under His mighty hand.  Our weakness is the correct assessment of our condition.   It is when we acknowledge that we are weak that we will be made strong through the power of our Creator.

It is in our weakness when we are most readily led into worship.  It is the embracing of our powerlessness that opens our hearts to honor our Creator God.  It is in the weakness of the children of God, on their fallen knees, that the power of the King is poured out and overflows His people.


Fly (Photo credit: ~FreeBirD®~)

Let your eyes return to the horizon; let your soul be spread thin against its expanse.  Embrace your miniscule condition.  You are small and weak; praise God!  You have not been abandoned to indifferent forces.  You have God.  He loves and cares for you; the powerless and the weak.  He is mighty and great!  He made this world to proclaim His Holy Name.

Let our heart rise in praise of his mighty name!

PRAYER: Lord, show me my weakness.  Remind me of the swiftness of my days.  Grant me a deep understanding of just how powerless I am in the seeming chaos of this indifferent world.  Father, grant in me a need for you that is beyond the reasoning of my eyes.  Help me to embrace the fullness and fruitfulness of my weakness.  Remind me of my reliance upon you.  May my heart rise above the business of my daily life to become lost in the limitlessness of you, to your praise and glory.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.


  1. […] outside of the Bible. My interpretation of Cowper’s poem was inspired by a recent post on A Devoted Life based on 2 Corinthians 12:9, one of my favourite verses in the Bible.   Power Perfected in […]

  2. I definitely needed this.. and the one you posted yesterday.. and your personal story page. It seems that I have been caught up in legalism of my own doing, and there is some much needed reflection on who I am, and who God is. I desire so much to be in a place away from man.. just like you are describing. Please take me with your family next time. lol

  3. […] “LOVING MY WEAKNESS” – MAY 1. […]

  4. You’ve highlighted a deficiency that unknowingly plagues many modern folks: too much time in confined spaces, in compact cities; not enough time in the wide open spaces of nature. No wonder city-dwellers are less likely to be people of faith than those who live in rural areas. They’re looking at man made concrete and steel every day; rarely at forests, rivers, and cloudscapes. Not only do many not acknowledge the weakness of humanity, they forget that moth and dust corrupt whatever we make. Thank you for the thought-provoking post, JD.

  5. “It is a gift that reminds us that we will always be under His mighty hand.” Love this! What a great reminder that God created us with weaknesses so we can find His power. Only by depending on Him can we do that. Thanks for the post!

  6. Beautiful imagery. I love the contrast between the vast expanses of God’s creation, where we see our smallness versus the claustrophobia experienced in the midst of man’s creation where all is under our control.

    I may be a weakling, but I have a very strong Big Brother who watches out for me!

    \ 🙂 /

  7. I’m so thankful for this today. I’m facing one of my greatest weaknesses and I’ve noticed how much my mind is far away, consumed by everything here. I don’t seem to be in the present but somewhere else where worry resides. this has strengthened me to go on! God Bless 🙂

  8. Reading this, I am once again reminded of our awesome God’s power and might in all He has created. Thank you

  9. I love how you described our weakness as a gift. 🙂

  10. AMEN

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