We live in a world that looks to the lions. Those who are champions, running into the burning building to save those who have been in peril. We celebrate them in the news, on our own news-feeds, in emails, on magazines. If a person is strong, then surely they must be looked up to and put on a pedestal to inspire the “mere mortals.”
Then I look at Scripture. Moses had a speech impediment. Jacob had a limp after wrestling all night with angels. Jeremiah showed signs of depression in his writing. In the New Testament Peter often responded with brashness that came with consequences. Paul had a thorn in his side. Each of these men who have been held up as an example for our faith had a weakness.
I started thinking of my contemporary heroes. Corrie Ten Boom was middle-aged before she began the ministry that would fill the second half of her life. When many are thinking of retiring, God was calling her up to the plate to start playing in the majors for Him. She had served Him faithfully prior to World War II but, it was out of the weakness of humanity that experienced so much death, hate, and hurt, that God called her to speak of the Life, Love, and Healing that comes from the Cross.
I think of Elisabeth Elliot, who lost not one, but two husbands, one to a spear and one to cancer, and instead of curling up in heap, she stepped out in the sorrow, the brokenness, and uncertainty to continue to share the story of God’s faithfulness.
Then there is Amy Charmichael, Elisabeth Elliot’s hero. She was a missionary who served in India for fifty-five years sharing the Love of Christ. Amy was initially going to go to Asia to serve, but physical illness drew her back to Ireland. And through God-designed events, she was eventually called to India.
Or a dear friend of mine, who now stands in Heaven with these amazing people. Helen Killian who came from Ireland to the States, then was called by God to the Philippines to serve. While there, she developed cancer. Came back to the States, recovered, and went back to Ireland to serve for a few more years, until God called her home.
Each one of these people, had their own battles, their own frailty and fragility. But God used them, anyway. And in some ways, because of their weakness. Through their weakness God’s glory was celebrated. It wasn’t the strength of the man, it was the Strength of the Holy Triune God working through them to draw others to Him.
What an incredible blessing each one of these people were to the lives they touched. The blessings we will never truly know until the other side of Heaven. How did they do this? Through Faith, trust, perseverance, hope, and the Truth of the God they served.
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.