This is a republishing of a post I wrote in 2013. The original is still up, but it was worth pulling out of its archive and sharing again.
God’s truth doesn’t expire. His Spirit doesn’t stop inspiring. And the heart of the Emily who wrote this in 2013 may have changed exponentially, but the object of her faith hasn’t. It’s humbling to reread this and know that God held true to His promise: He remained faithful, held me fast, and is making all things new in time. His strength is indeed perfected in my weakness.
For the longest time, I kept wondering why. Why was I still experiencing the repercussions of these messy situations in my life? Why was I still feeling pain and struggle?
How much longer would I have to wrestle with my thoughts? (Psalm 13:2)
Why was there unsettled injustice still, injustice that only caused tension and on its own, couldn’t possibly glorify God’s perfect justice and goodness? (Psalm 33:5)
When would this season end? When would its purpose be served and the next step begin?
“In You, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in Your righteousness deliver me! Incline Your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!” (Psalm 31:1-2)
But tomorrow came and it seemed nothing had changed.
And God answered me as I ran to Him for answers. As I grasped for His hands and held Him tightly, refusing to let go because I knew only despair and lost wanderings waited for me without Him, He revealed an incredible reason to me.
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Corinthians 12:8-9)
Strength made perfect in weakness? How does that make sense? How does my weakness, when I rely on Him, show His strength?
As long as I suffer, I cling ever tighter.
I cling and the space between me and Him closes a little more. His presence is more evident to my sinful soul and my imperfections clarified. The weight of His forgiveness becomes more real. The desire to serve and find all satisfaction, joy, and peace in Him burns brighter.
As long as I feel loneliness, I seek His perfect companionship.
As long as I lose sleep, I am on my knees in prayer entering His presence.
As long as I am single, I have the freedom to seek to pour that love on and invest in others more fully.
As long as my heart is breaking, it is opening more and more to those who seek love, understanding, and friendship.
As long as I have unanswered questions about Him, I am looking deeper into His full knowledge.
As long as I have no control over the surprises my schedule throws, I am opening my hands and giving up the very next moment to His will.
So as long as I am weak, He is strong in me.
And as a result… He is using me in incredible ways, humbling me even more and bringing so much pure joy.
As long as I have these weaknesses, I’m falling deeper into Him and His will. And that is reason enough.
Will I ever find the bigger-picture purpose of this? Will a time come when these seemingly chaotic events make sense?
I can trust Him. He promises they will.
“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of Your hands.” (Psalm 138:8)
I know He will not forsake me. He is good.