I’m taking the month of December to reflect on the “weakness” of God. It will take me the month to flesh out this theme so bear with me. Don’t be too quick to judge what I’m saying. This idea unfolds like a flower.
I mentioned in my last post that our first reaction to the concept of the weakness of God is to be offended. We don’t even like the phrase “weakness of God” and certainly don’t like to see God spelled with a small “g”. Yet God never seemed to mind revealing himself in situations that we call weak, i.e. born in a manger, died on a cross, to name two.
Meditating on the weakness of god helps us to listen.
If you know that God might reveal himself in subtle ways and not just bold ways, then suddenly your listening gets better, doesn’t it? You aren’t so quick to dismiss a thought or a word that comes to you. You aren’t so quick to discount your boss, or spouse, or children, or even an enemy. When you understand the weakness of God you realize that God can speak through anyone.
Meditating on the weakness of god helps us to be humble.
If God reveals himself in weakness then maybe being weak isn’t so bad. Maybe I don’t have to hide my weakness. I can embrace it: even admit it.
I was counseling someone recently who suffers from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). He wondered if I knew much about it. I told him I didn’t but there are certain standard steps to take that hold true for solving most of our problems. I suggested many ways to seek help but then I told him that if he wants freedom from a problem it helps to tell people about it and not hide it. The Bible tells us to “confess our sins one to another that we might be healed.”
Three things happen when you tell people your problem:
- you stop having a secret, which takes the monkey off your back. It’s a huge relief.
- you find out that there are many other people out there with the same struggle. You have to be careful whom you share your problem with but the right person will typically be quick to say that they too struggle with your problem or a similar one. You are not alone.
- people can now help you. When you hold your problem in isolation it’s all yours. When you tell someone else you now have help: a counselor to inform you, or comfort you, or hold you accountable.
But sharing your problem takes humility and courage. Where do you find that? When you start to realize that God often reveals himself in what WE call weakness, it takes the shame away. You start to realize that what we call weakness, God simply calls humanity. WE are offended by our humanity but God’s not offended. He breathes life into humanity, changing us into his likeness.
Advent Challenge: try not to judge yourself as weak or strong. No one stood around the manger lamenting that Jesus was just a baby. That baby was the birth of a new beginning. In the same way, your “weakness” is the birthplace for God to show up.