As a marriage and family therapist, my entire career is based around helping people when they find themselves walking in the lowest valleys in their life.
Recently, a woman who experienced an early pregnancy loss said to me, “My husband is so strong. I wish I could be more like him, rather than sitting around crying all the time.”
This struck me quite deeply as a perspective we all share: the idea that people who appear to be strong in the face of adversity are the ones we should aspire to be like.
What is it about “being strong” that seems so desirable to us?
As I ponder this question, I’m reminded of the words of St. Paul from the first letter to the Corinthians:
“God’s folly is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. Consider, brothers, how you were called; not many of you are wise by human standards, not many influential, not many from noble families. No, God chose those who by human standards are fools to shame the wise; he chose those who by human standards are weak to shame the strong, those who by human standards are common and contemptible — indeed those who count for nothing — to reduce to nothing all those that do count for something . . .”
When the woman finished explaining how she wished she could be more like her husband, I shared how proud I was of her for being willing to be weak, to allow herself to experience the crushing reality of the situation and genuinely walk one slow step at a time through the valley of tears.
It sounds so contradictory, but God uses our moments of weakness to make himself known. He permits us to suffer and be utterly destroyed by tragedy as a means of encouraging us to grow closer to Him.
In our weakness, we are made strong.
I think of this every time someone comes in for help, guidance, and just to talk their way through some of life’s greatest difficulties. They come in feeling weak, feeling that they are less-than, simply because they need help.
But the very act of reaching out for help, the display of courage it takes to simply say “Please, I can’t do this alone,” this is where I see our greatest strength. It is in being willing to ask for help, being willing to be weak, that our strength truly shines forth.
When you look upon someone who seems like they have it all together, seems like they somehow continue to find joy in the midst of trials and tribulations of life, take heart! God chooses those who by human standards are weak to proclaim His message of hope. He chooses those who cry and mourn to help share His power in our lives. He chooses those who feel as though they can’t go on another day, to help teach us all how to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
He choose the weak, and the weak will change the world.
Copyright 2017 Tommy Tighe