So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.
In order to counter the claims of the false “super-apostles” that were opposing him, Paul speaks of an experience he had. On one occasion he was taken up to the highest heaven. The experience was so powerful that he is not sure whether it was a vision or a physical journey to heaven. In this experience the Lord showed him mysteries that are too sacred to express.
Paul doesn’t boast about the revelations he has received and doesn’t regard them as a reason for people to respect him. To keep him humble, the Lord permitted a thorn int the flesh, a messenger from satan.
He asked the Lord to remove this thing, but the Lord replied, “My grace is more than enough for you, and my grace is made strong in your weakness.”
Our culture worships the strong and powerful people- the top athletes, rulers and business people. Church culture is no different, glamorising the “man of God”, the gifted preacher, and the healer.
But Paul of all people shows us a different way. He has the most powerful experience of heaven which today would put him on the book and movie top sellers lists. But he tells us that what he saw was too sacred to talk about.
Not only this, he is given a “thorn in the flesh” to keep him humble. We don’t know exactly what this was, but it was some kind of messenger from satan that served to keep him focused on the mighty power of Christ in him.
So he says, “I will celebrate my weaknesses.” To the world this is crazy. Everyone needs to be strong, powerful, and effective.
To celebrate my weaknesses means I have to rely on God. It is an acknowledgement that by myself I can do nothing, but in Christ I can do all things.
We can be tempted to rejoice in our own strengths, talents, and activity. That way leads to p[ride and arrogance.
The way to growth in the Holy Spirit is to celebrate our weakness, and push into God relying on His grace to achieve His goals.
Lord, please help me to celebrate my weaknesses and to trust only in your strength. Amen.