Friday, September 11, 2009

Living Weak

As Heather and I went for a walk along the Mississippi River earlier this week, we walked past several runners and bikers with "Live Strong" paraphernalia . As far as I can tell, "Live Strong" is the motto of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Given the compelling story of Lance Armstrong, his achievements fighting cancer, and his Tour De France victories, it is no surpise that his Foundation has a big following among the fitness crowd.

More than 100 years ago, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a famous essay called "Self-Reliance." In it, he said, "Trust thyself, every heart vibrates to that iron string. Discontent is the want of self-reliance. It is infirmity of will."

Live Strong. Self-Reliant. I can't think of phrases and ways of life that are completely contradictory to how I now live my life. Rather than a Live Strong/Self-Reliance mantra, my day-to-day mantra is more like "Live Weak." To the extent that I used to rely on my own efforts, my own self-will, I can do it no longer. I certainly don't have enough strength to face my son's death on my own. I can't bear it alone.

But thanks be to God, for I trust that He gives us strength because of our own weakness. The Word of God is filled with promises to us, the weak and broken-hearted.
In Matthew 5:3-4, Jesus says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I have never felt so weak-kneed, empty of my own will, stripped of self-confidence. I pray that because of my weakness, God gives me strength to get through this. Oswald Chambers says, "Complete weakness and dependence will always be the occassion for the Spirit of God to manifest His power." How we long for the Spirit of God to manifest His power in our lives.


  1. And He is manifesting His power in your weakness. It is on display every time I read this beautiful blog.

    I pray that you would feel it as much as we outsiders can see it.

    You bless us in your pain because we get to see a glimpse of God's hand carrying you. Thank you both for that.

    Praying for you from BBC North,
    Tom and Abigail Dodds

  2. You have put into words what is true for all of us if we have eyes to see. We can do nothing apart from God. You are now living that truth...I know I often I live in the lie that I can live on my own. Thanks for the reminder.