As caregivers it's tricky emotionally asking God for relief. It's not that we mind taking care of our loved ones - we are honored to do so and we are fueled by love for them much the same way as the force of love held Jesus to the cross for us our love holds us by their sides. When we get into that overload mode and know we need a break but no break is in sight - we don't even know how to articulate a prayer that makes any sense. But our heavy heart cries out before our God seeking refuge in Him. And we likely get the same answer as God gave Paul: My grace is sufficient for you for power is perfected in weakness.
My first question of course, is how does that work? How can power be perfected or matured in the midst of weakness. Do you often have people tell you they admire your strength? I have sometimes and it's usually at my lowest most wiped out moments. I feel anything but strong. Well, it's not our power that matures in our weakness - it's when we are weak that we get out of the way and His power can work in us and for us. Paul goes on to explain in verse 10 that when I am weak, then I am strong. On one hand, that makes no sense at all - how can I be strong because I'm weak?
When I become so weak I cannot carry on - He carries me. Our own weakness gets us out of the way so His strength can manifest in us. In verse 9 Paul says I will rather boast in my weaknesses (notice that is plural) so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. As caregivers we soon find out we don't have time or strength to waste putting on a show for God or man. Our weakness strips us down to who we really are; to our bare reality. And then God's strength has full reign because we are out of the way.
Many days, okay most days, I need Him to carry me. But some days I think I am big enough and bad enough to do it on my own. (I'm sure that's just me, right?) But even on our weakest days caregivers are found just rolling up our sleeves and getting in there to get things done. The need for caregiving doesn't take a break - when you are caring for someone else you can't say I'm not doing this or that today - I just don't feel like it. So we can slip right into zombie mode where we continue to get things done but really aren't feeling it.
These times are when He undergirds us with His strength and carries us through - our weakness has gottten us out of the way so His power can work in and through us.So today - instead of waiting until I can't take another step - I'm just going to admit I'm weak. Like Paul I'm going to boast (or be proud if you will) in the fact that I really cannot do it without Him. My meditations will be on how His Spirit puts strength in me today - and I am empowered simply because He lives in me. (Ephesians 3:16) Today I'll be glad I am weak - so others can see His strength at work in me. This will be my meditation for today. Will you join me?