by Clayton King, Author + Evangelist
What if I told you the way to lose weight was to eat more? Or what if I told you the way to get in shape was to move less? You would call me crazy, and rightfully so, because everyone knows if you want to lose weight and get in shape, you move more and eat less.
But what if I told you that the way to become stronger is actually through weakness? And what if I told you that I didn't come up with that idea, but that I took it straight from the Bible? Well, that is what I am telling you, and it's not nonsense and I'm not crazy. The strange secret to gaining strength is completely counter-intuitive. We find strength when we fully embrace our weaknesses. It's at our weakest and most vulnerable moments that we learn the lesson; hard times don't make us happy, but they can keep us humble and make us holy.
The Apostle Paul writes those exact words in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, when he explains that God allowed him to go through something so painful and severe that Paul actually thought it was a tool of Satan. It hurt him so bad (even though we're not sure what the source of the pain really was), that he prayed for God to remove it from him three times, but all three times God refused to grant his request. Instead, God was teaching Paul a lesson; that God's grace was sufficient and when he was weak, he was actually strong because God's strength is made perfect in our weakness.
I have been learning that lesson for well over a decade. In the course of 12 years, I lost 9 family members. It began with my grandfather and uncle, then culminated with losing my mom and dad 18 months apart. I preached all of their funerals, and even buried my father on Father's Day. I experienced discouragement, darkness, and depression. Yet through it all, I felt an intimacy with Jesus that I had never known.
Sometimes you don't realize that God is all you need until God is all you have. I also learned that weakness is not wasted when it's a way to worship. When God was breaking me, he was making me...into a better man who knew how to totally depend on Christ. I do have scars from my suffering, but my scars tell my story of how I survived by God's grace. Pain can have a purpose, because anything that hurts me can humble me, and whatever humbles me is helping me.
I wrote a book about my experience called STRONGER. It is raw, vulnerable, honest and hopeful. I believe that STRONGER will help you if you have ever gone through pain or loss or doubt. I want to tell my story for God's glory, and I want you to embrace your weakness as a way to know God's greatest strength.