So I am one of those people, perhaps you are too, who insists on carrying all the groceries from the car to the house in one trip. It may be because I’m too lazy to make multiple trips, but it probably also has to do with my insistence on self-reliance and refusal to ask for help. (For most of the last few years I’ve lived alone, so it’s not like there was anyone to ask for help anyway).
But when I got my diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis I started reading about the concept of “joint protection“. The idea is to use the largest joints and muscle groups to accomplish the work in order to help prevent further joint damage. So no more arms full of grocery sacks with the last couple hanging on by my fingertips.
In fact my diagnosis means that I am likely to be dependent upon others for help. I hope that with advances in medication along with lifestyle changes (you can read about those on my health blog How To Be Crunchy) that I can avoid disability, but for many that is the trajectory with RA. For someone who has long taken a certain amount of pride in her ability to care for herself, this is no small blow. For me, it’s actually rather scary. To depend on others is to be vulnerable.
Being vulnerable is scary. Being vulnerable means someone can hurt you or take advantage of you. Being vulnerable means you have to depend on someone else.
But God just adores turning the world’s wisdom on its head. He says that vulnerability is not something to be afraid of, rather that vulnerability is exactly where He wants us to be. Because when we are weak He can be given all the glory. Vulnerability breaks our pride and forces us to rely on God. It’s hard to pretend you did something under your own power when you completely lack the capacity.
Or as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, speaking about his “thorn” – “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Do you have this same struggle? In what ways has God used your weaknesses for His glory? Share in the comments!