He’s Waiting at the Bottom

Yesterday was one of those days. Things started off badly with my poor baby girl up throughout the night sick and then continued on with my son arguing, my daughter fussing, the dog barking incessantly and time was slipping away from me. The day was snowballing and my attitude with it. I was wrapped up in the cold, stark emotion that comes from frustration and I was rolling away from myself, down the hill with no self-control.

I was feeling like a failure, like I couldn’t get my family in order if I tried. My poor husband came home and I snapped at him, terse, cold words flying at him splattering on his face like a powdery snowball. The poor man had been ambushed by my day, the one full of emotions that I seemed too weak to control.

Immediately after my words left my mouth, I turned to him and apologized. I told him I knew I was being mean and I was sorry. He forgave me because he loves me just right but my guilt, my frustration at myself only deepened.

I had reached the bottom of the hill, and was laying in a cold heap, buried by my attitude, my weakness, my frustration with myself at not being better.

I get to this point often actually, the one where I look at the challenge of raising two people small in stature, into two people large in character. When I look down the winding road of parenthood and admit that I don’t know what the next turn will bring and how to guide my kids through it. I get to the point where I feel too weak to do it.

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I’m sure you do too. On any given day, we could find challenges that seem bigger than us. Work, finances, marriage, parenthood, sickness, temptation, change; it all piles on us like snow in an avalanche and at some point, we get cold and tired and feel like we just aren’t strong enough to dig ourselves out. Weakness takes over like frostbite.

When that happens though, when I’m buried and cold and weak, my God is so near. Every time I reach the bottom of that hill I find Him there waiting for me, waiting to tell me something.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”  2 Corinthians 12:9a (NIV)

The power of God, the stuff that raised people from the dead, parted seas like hair on your head, transformed water into wine, reduced sickness to nothing, replaced blindness with sight, is made perfect in weakness. The power of God, the force that spoke the earth into being, overtakes hearts with love, and cleans up the darkest deepest stains of sin, finds a home in weakness.

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Lake Tahoe, Photo Credit: Scott Lasher

Weakness is found in all of those places. In death, in sickness, in the absolute nothingness that was the universe, it dwells and languishes, unable to help itself. But that’s where Jesus chose to show His power. He sought out death so He could beat it. He sought out sinners so He could cleanse them.

And as the most helpless of humans, He came and laid in a manger to show that His power is made perfect. Especially in weakness.

When you are at your weakest, laying at the bottom of that hill that you were unable to stop yourself from rolling down, remember that He is right there, at the bottom. He’s been waiting for you to get there, at your lowest point, emptied of yourself, ready to acknowledge that you can’t climb back up on your own.

And He can’t wait to take you in His arms and carry you every steep step of the way. Because His power, His strength, His love, is made perfect in your weakness.

“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9b (NIV)

You can be ok with your weak moments. You can embrace the fact that you are flawed and failing and helpless. In fact, you can brag about it because it’s in those areas where Jesus shows His power.

Take a minute and let His power, sweet and strong, rest on you. Surrender your weakest moments to Him so that the power of His love or grace or joy or patience might take over and carry you out of it.

Your weakest moments have the potential to be His strongest, as long as you let Him into them. So brush off the snow, climb into His arms and watch His power at work as He carries you up, up and away from the bottom.