342. Weakness and Strength

342. Weakness and Strength

It is easy to understand weakness and strength in absolute terms. So, we tend to view weakness as bad, and strength as good. But reversal happens fairly regularly.

My glaring weakness is my lack of empathy. For example, when I watch a movie, I often feel a sense of detachment from the movie, as I find it difficult to feel what the actors are feeling at times. I can listen well without interrupting and ask prompting questions to understand better. But there are some situations when I feel challenged to feel what the other person is feeling. I noticed it more during my university years, and since then, I’ve been trying to work on it and find the root issue.

However, I’ve also experienced this weakness of mine turning into strength on many occasions. When I was in university, our China mission team was on a sleeper train (that had bunk beds) and one of our members fell from the top bed in the middle of the night. He started bleeding a lot on his head and everyone was panicking. But I remember volunteering to take him to the hospital at the nearest station when I knew very little Chinese. After helping him get stitches, we managed to arrive at our destination, where our team was waiting for us. I remember my members telling me how surprised they were to see me so calm. What I found interesting was I never tried to be calm.

Two weeks ago, our car was rearer ended, as the car behind us also got rear ended by a car that didn’t stop. The couple behind us wanted to go to the collision center with me, so I did. At the collision center, they were telling me how surprised they were to see how calm I was, and thanked me for leading the entire situation well. Again, I never tried to be calm.

Weakness is still a weakness, and I still struggle with the sense of detachment from reality at times. But I have realized that when you give your weakness to God in confession, he gives grace for it to be viewed by others as strength. When we keep detesting and hating our weaknesses, we are actually not trusting in the God of Reversals, who makes us strong when we are weak. (2 Cor 12:10)