In the Midst of Weakness

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He was crucified in weakness but lives by the power of God. We are weak in him, but we will live with him by the power of God. (2 Cor 13:4)

I am weak in him. Today I mailed a few dozen invitations to a meeting about a mission trip, a trip few people are interested in. I wonder if the trip will need to be canceled. I am a disciple who has fished all night and caught little. Numbers are small. Churches live and die by numbers — how many here, how many there. Small numbers make you weak.

There is pressure in ministry, as in any vocation, to be strong and successful, to have numbers, to have answers. Mostly I have only questions now. Questions, weakness, confusion. Is Christ making me weak in him so that he may display his power in me? This is the road of the gospel. Jesus died on the cross an apparent failure, and he lives now by the power of God.

I am taking yoga classes from a woman I once thought an enemy. It makes me laugh to say it out loud: God has made her a channel of grace in my life. God is laughing at me too! Yoga puts limbs in contorted poses, and blood flows through them bringing power and awareness. I leave a yoga session feeling strangely stronger in the midst of weakness.

I am weak in him. I am a fool who cannot tell friends from enemies. I am thin and frail in numbers. And while I seek it here, grace sprouts up there in a place where I did not look for it.

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9 Responses to In the Midst of Weakness

  1. Ryan says:

    So much about this post resonates. Pretty much everything, really… except the yoga :). I stick to “safer” activities like soccer and hockey (“safer” = “things that don’t ask impossible things of my astonishingly inflexible body”).

    Thanks for writing.

  2. LC says:

    You are being drawn deeper into the mystery.
    Have you read Richard Rohr’s “The Naked Now”?
    You could read it as you take your wife for a relaxing holiday in the Bahamas.

  3. Chris says:

    LC, I have not read Richard Rohr. I would try to read him, but it is difficult for me to read any book lately. I make little progress in them. I only make progress in walking.

    Ryan, hockey seems impossible to me. Yoga is easy by comparison. :-)

  4. LC says:

    All this exercise…. It is really important to have a balanced diet and adequate calories to fuel it.
    You are really sounding like you could do with a break. Be gentle with yourself.

  5. mike says:

    “I am taking yoga classes from a woman I once thought an enemy. It makes me laugh to say it out loud: God has made her a channel of grace in my life. God is laughing at me too! ”

    Attending Yoga class was and is a huge break-through spiritually speaking. there’s much more rich depth to attain to if we can continue to allow ourselves to “Expand” without succumbing to the Fear of the unknown. The same God that you know has been looking out for you all your life IS STILL WITH YOU NOW, gently nudging, closing one door and then opening another.

  6. Chris says:

    Thanks for the concern, LC. I don’t over exercise. Over time my walking averages 3.5 miles a day, which is moderate. Actually, the time and fatigue in walking help to dampen unhealthy patterns of thinking. A balanced diet is the challenge now. It’s hard for me to make donuts and cookies a treat rather than a staple. Ongoing vigilance needed there. But breakfast this morning was a peanut butter and jam sandwich on good whole wheat bread, plus a bunch of blackberries. Plus water. So pretty healthy there. I eat a lot of berries.

  7. Chris says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Mike. Yoga is a great thing, an unexpected joy in my life. And I assume God is opening new doors. Only, I liked what was behind doors that have closed, and I am still grieving those losses.

  8. mike says:

    “The man, who, being really on the Way, falls upon hard times in the world will not, as a consequence, turn to that friend who offers him refuge and comfort and encourages his old self to survive. Rather, he will seek out someone who will faithfully and inexorably help him to risk himself, so that he may endure the suffering and pass courageously through it. Only to the extent that man exposes himself over and over again to annihilation, can that which is indestructible arise within him. In this lies the dignity of daring.”
    ― Karlfried Graf Durckheim, The Way of Transformation: Daily Life as Spiritual Practice

  9. Chris says:

    Beautiful. Thank you.

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