Last week was difficult and at first I had no idea why. I found it difficult to pray or even worship the Lord. Discouragement set in; then despair; then apathy. All the while I could feel myself losing connection with the Lord more and more. As I lost connection with Him I began to lose connection with the people around me as well. I felt isolated, quite miserable, and even a little hopeless. All of this happened within a 24 hour time frame without any major identifiable cause. Then, suddenly, something amazing happened.
I was driving in my car, stuck in my own pity party, when all of a sudden the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance 2 Corinthians 12:9… “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.” I felt my shoulders relax, my mind set at ease and my heart fill with gratitude for God’s power being made perfect in my weakness. Those negative feelings didn’t hold the same power they did before and I had an inner joy flood my entire soul. My whole week from that point on was outstanding, filled with amazing moments of family fun, fulfilling work, and most importantly my connection with God was reaffirmed.
This experience was honestly a first. I’ve thanked God for many things in my life, but never have I thanked Him for my weaknesses! In that moment I had a profound realization: weakness can actually qualify me for God’s power to work in me. Weakness can actually be used to draw me closer to God. In this way weakness can actually strengthen me. Weakness is a gift!
I remember the first time I met Jesus. It was not in a church. I did not have my act together. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it a decision I made on my own because I was not looking for salvation. I was a 21-year-old kid, lost, confused, and detoxing off of a couple years of daily opioid use. There in that pitiful state I encountered the living Christ. I will not go into details because it requires too much background. What I will say is that I couldn’t have decided to refuse Him access into my heart even if I wanted to. His love was so real and unrelenting in that moment there was no option but surrender. This was a power too strong to deny. I found Him irresistible and I gave Him my life. I’ve never been the same since. I say this to say that we all have in us great potential for weakness. But really all that means is we all have great potential for God’s power to work in us and through us. It was at my weakest when I found Him.
In what ways have you disqualified yourself from the power of God because of your weaknesses? Who do you know that you’ve considered “too far gone” to encounter His power in their lives? How does 2 Corinthians 12:9 challenge you on this and what can you do to rise to that challenge? These are just a few questions you can ask yourself in light of this blog post. It is my hope that we all see weakness through a new lens of hope and gratitude instead of shame and despair. This will strengthen us all the more.
Yours in Christ,
Brandon McKenzie, Prayer Room Coordinator
I have been serving in some way with Take the city since October 2013. I spent a lot of time on the prayer team in the beginning and encountered God’s heart for the city in a life changing way. When the teams came back and shared testimonies, it was always fun to see that our prayers coincided with some of their testimonies in special ways. More recently I have had the privilege of leading a team to a nursing home where I used to be an employee. I used to pray over the facility every day, and it was such a miracle to see an old friend who lives there give his life to Jesus on one of our outreaches a year later. God sure has a way of answering prayers. And Take the City is an answer to so many prayers that have gone up here.