My Testimony: His Strength in My Weakness

Have you ever wondered if you matter?

Have you ever wondered if you can be sure that you are “saved” (rescued from sin by Christ’s death and resurrection) and have eternal life?

Those were questions that plagued me for most of my life.

In December, I was invited to give my testimony.  It was recorded, and I share it below.

I would far prefer to write. Public speaking takes me out of my comfort zone. In fact, I told my husband on the way over it felt like I was going to surgery!

The title for my testimony was “His Strength in My Weakness” which I again experienced that night. That truth (from 2 Corinthians 12:9-10)—and that we live this life by the power of His Spirit working in us—is my life song. Weakness is my platform. That’s really all I have to bring—nothing in me, all in Christ.

At my husband’s encouragement, I’m sharing it here. This is not an easy thing to do. I offer it with only a desire to point to Jesus, and a prayer that it might somehow be used for His glory.

Verse for the Day – Galatians 1:1

The Verse for the Day project began for my children, sending them verses each day to encourage them.

Today we’re starting a new plan for the Verse for the Day. Rather than individual random verses, I’d like to go verse by verse through a book of the Bible. This way, we might see more the context of the Scripture we are looking at each day.

I thought we could go through Galatians.

When you start to study a book of the Bible, it’s usually good to read through the entire thing quickly to get a quick overview or feel for what is coming. It’s the view from up above, getting the general landscape of the book and what will follow. Then you can start to go verse by verse to dig into the details. Maybe you want to read through Galatians if you have time. I will try to, as well.

The first verse today then is Galatians 1:1:

“Paul, an apostle (not from men nor though man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),” (NKJV)

The verse today tells us the author of the Book of Galatians. It’s the apostle Paul who we know wrote a number of the New Testament books. An apostle in the NT was one who had seen the risen Jesus. This shows Paul’s authority to speak—as an apostle of Jesus Christ and of God the Father who raised Jesus from the dead.

We see that Paul is an apostle not from man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father.

Think about the choice by God of Paul to be an apostle. Paul had been Saul, the one who had persecuted the Christians. You may know the story of his conversion on the road to Damascus. (See Acts 9.)

If man had chosen an apostle to follow Christ, I doubt he would have chosen Saul who became Paul. Man doesn’t see things like God. I think this is a picture of God choosing the weaker things, the things the world wouldn’t expect. And it demonstrates that no one is beyond the reach of God!

And if God can choose and use Saul who He made Paul, what do you think he can do with you or me? He’s really not limited by our mistakes or sins, is He? The risen Lord Jesus can call us and redeem us and use us for God’s glory.

PRAYER:  Dear Lord, I have no idea if this day by day through Galatians is possible. I don’t know enough to even write about the verses that will come. But I pray in spite of my obvious weakness, You will teach us and lead us through this study, this book, and that through it, we will come to know and love You and your gospel more. Thank You that You take the unlikely, the unexpected, and are able to use that which we can’t conceive for your great glory and kingdom advancement. Would you work in and through us by the power of the Spirit. Thank you that you are a Risen Lord who is alive and powerful to do all of these things and more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Verse for the Day – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Have you ever felt like you can’t do it? You can’t live the Christian life well? It’s just too hard?

Or why not just keep going like things are—isn’t that good enough? Do we really need to try to do better? or be better? And is that even possible in a world stained by sin? Can we possibly improve ourselves, much less make a positive difference in this world?

If you’ve ever struggled with these things, those questions, then I think you are in a really good place. Does that sound strange? What?! Feeling as though I can’t do it is a good place to be? Wouldn’t it be better to feel like I am competent and able and strong and doing really well?

I introduce you today to my life verses, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

Paul has been talking about a thorn in his flesh that was given to him, and he had pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from him.

“And He [the Lord] said to me [Paul], My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefor I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (NKJV)

Think about that. God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. If we could do it all, if we had all it takes, why would we need Him? But when we wrestle in our Christian walk of faith, when we see this is too much, it’s too hard, it’s when we begin to realize, yes, it’s too hard! But not for Christ! He is strong, He is greater than it all, and He is able by the power of His Holy Spirit to work in you for his good pleasure, your great joy and good, and His glory.

See your inability, your weakness, not as something to discourage you, but to lead you to Christ. He does still call us to act and obey, to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12), to “put off” sin and “put on” godliness (Col. 3), but He will help us. Keep calling out to Him for help.

He forgives us when we repent (1 John 1:9). He hears us when we cry. He answers us when we call. Let Him give you His strength to live each day. Sometimes it may be up and down and hard, but keep looking to Him, keep seeking Him, keep believing He is able and will lead you. Let His strength help you in your weakness.

We can’t live this life in our own strength. (We can try, we may feel we can for a bit, but it will always fail!)  When we understand and see the truth and beauty of that reality, then we are able to accept something which is so much better: we live this life in His strength, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ in us, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).

PRAYER: Dear Lord, we come to You this day acknowledging our sinfulness and the things that so easily beset us and discourage us. Help us to give up ourselves and turn to You who is able to keep us from falling and is able to give us the strength that we need to obey and follow You with great joy. We are human, we surely fail, but we have You, our God who is greater than all our sin, who rejoices when we repent, who waits patiently for us, and who will supply us with all we need for life and godliness. We love and praise You this day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Weakness and Self Humiliation

Tuesday was perhaps the lowest moment of my entire “professional” life.

I’ve struggled to think if perhaps there’s been a worse moment for me in all my years of working, but only one can even compete (and that’s a story all unto itself… litigation involving accusations that pesticides required a family to abandon their home led to a document production at the abandoned house in East Texas back in the spring 1994… we wandered through a football size field of grass up to my waist… opposing counsel was there zipped into the most enormous yellow protective suit — to protect him from the snakes and pesticides… I’m there with our 2 laywers calling it all bunk, and I’m hoping they’re right as the other lawyer questions them about taking me into that house for documents given that I’m of childbearing age! By the time I had wandered through those fields, scared to death of snakes, wondering how I got dragged into this, my allergies kicked in, and my nose ran, my eyes watered, I sneezed again and again, and I had not so much as a tissue for the next couple of hours. I sat on the porch of that dusty, abandoned house trying to control all this, while the lead lawyer says to me in disbelief, “What’s WRONG with you?” “Allergies,” I answer. Truth is, I don’t even really have allergies, but anyone who wades in waist deep grass for a stretch in the hot Texas sun can develop them immediately, I found.). I realize that was a long parenthetical, but alas, that day did not compare with this past Tuesday.

I was taking part in a video shoot. Interestingly, I had prayed at length about this. I had recently read a John Piper article on words — and so my prayer had been that the Lord would keep me humble and Himself exalted. I wanted to be guided by the double criterion Piper describes: self humiliation and Christ exaltation.

I had no idea what that prayer would lead to — true self humiliation, sheer embarrassment even, tears as I couldn’t articulate a compelling message for the video, despite probably 5 hours of preparation. We’ve yet to see if any of those words can even be used, but my suspicion is, if they are, given my complete and total inadequacy and failure, Christ alone would be able to make it something where He can be glorified.

In spite of it all, I’m thankful for it. It’s one of those moments you know God designed to be just what it was. And He revealed to me some other things I needed to know — “Cease striving,” I felt. “Quit trying so hard to be all things here. Be about the other things I’m called to be.”

Should I blog about my single worst moment? I don’t know. I’ve already been so reduced, it seems of little consequence to share it on my blog. I guess I like the fact that God uses the weak; He gives us His strength even when we can’t see it; and He is sovereign and purposeful. So I praise Him for these things today!