Ether 12 "27: And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
37.... And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong..."
I thought it was interesting to ponder this morning how a weakness can be a strength. Here's what I came up with:
We all have weakness. Note that I didn't say "weaknesses" (plural.) All of our "weaknesses" can be bundled under one main weakness, and that is that we're mortal. We're all sinful creatures who are easily tempted by the flesh. Our biggest problem is that we don't all SEE our weakness. When we don't come unto God we continue in our own "strength" and think that we are strong and powerful all on our own. Unfortunately, what little "strength" we have is miniscule compared to how strong we can really be with God's help.
When we do come unto God we are admitting to ourselves that there is a power greater than ourselves. This naturally helps to humble us because we recognize that our "strength" is not ultimate. We are no longer in the position of feeling that we are at the top of the food chain. There is something out there stronger and greater than us.
God takes that first inkling of humility and builds upon it. He shows us our weakness by helping us understand that we are carnal creatures, prone to weaknesses and easily tempted. As we acknowlege this weakness we open ourselves to the possibility (truth) that God is stronger than us and we let Him start working within us. We have, in a sense, given Him permission to give us His strength and power. Hence, when God shows us how weak we are we actually become stronger through Him because we are allowing ourselves to draw upon a greater source of power than our own.
When we don't come unto God we tend to stay puffed up in our pride and in our perceived notions of how "strong" we are. We miss out on opportunities for growth and learning because we don't even see that we have a need for them. Our perception of what is weak and what is strong is usually based on the world's views and definitions, which are incompatible with God's truth. God doesn't see arrogance, pride, earthly power, influence or wealth as strengths. Each of these is actually a weakness in God's eyes. They all keep us from coming to God and let us continue in the comfortable idea that all is well.
Humility is a sincere acknowlegment that we can only be strong through Christ's grace. We are weak on our own. It is only through Him that we can even approach the Father and ask to be filled with His power.
Sadly, we usually don't come to God on our own. We tend to live our lives day in and day out in ignorance of our need for Him. Often it's in our most severe trials and those times when we have lost control in our lives that we finally recognize the need for a power greater than our own. That's when we start to see how weak we are and start approaching God for help and strength. In that moment of humility we are empowered and Christ's grace goes to work to help us overcome, and our weakness becomes a strength to us.
God's ways are not our ways. We need to align ourselves with God's way of thinking so that our ideas of strength change. A humble man speaking truths has a quiet power that can't be mistaken for the arrogant boastings of what the world considers to be a "strong" or powerful man. God's strength is ultimate and everlasting. It's the kind of strength I want to have.