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. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
As an athlete, we are basically trained to brush our weaknesses aside. Although our weaknesses are constantly being pointed out by a coach, a peer, or ourselves, we stick to the grind of what we do best… we focus on the mantra of being an athlete, being strong, being a leader, and never showing anyone else that there may be a weak side to us.
Weakness and struggle is something our culture demands that we do not talk about. However, Paul, a writer of many of the books of the New Testament, states in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians that he is going to boast about his weaknesses. WHAT? First, he is going to talk about the hard things he is going through and then he is also going to boast in them? I don’t know about about you… but I am not good at doing the talking or boasting part when it comes to my weaknesses!
My personal story of ignoring my struggles:
I am 99.9% sure it is against every fiber of my being to share what I struggle with. I push the hard things down and ignore them, but they always come out one way or another. I quickly realized the seriousness of me holding everything in and ignoring my weaknesses when they came out on the soccer field.
The soccer field has always been a place of refuge for me. A place I could run away from the difficulties of life. However, I remember after a game where I was clearly over emotional, making dumb fouls and purposely taking my aggression out on my opponents, my coach pulled me aside. He simply asked, “Katie, what is going on? You were a different person out there on the field today.” Obviously, I responded, “nothing coach.” As he looked sternly back at me, I realized I had to tell the truth. I was struggling with a chaotic family life and had been feeling incredibly overwhelmed with it all. Like a floodgate, I unloaded and told him everything that was going on. My coach looked at me and started praying. I can still hear his prayer. He prayed that I would be able to talk about my struggles to someone I felt safe with, but most importantly that I would talk to God about them. Before then, I never realized it or recognized it. The answer was simple. I needed to talk. For us athletes, we often think of the field as a refuge away from our weaknesses, but I think it is a place that can reveal our biggest weaknesses.
The Bible verse I shared earlier is really powerful. Talking about weaknesses is SO hard. And how am I supposed to boast in my weaknesses if I can never even talk about them?
Paul did an amazing job doing this, not because it was easy for him, but because he was commanded to and this was the only stance he could take. “For I am weak, and then I am strong,” Paul says. I am not strong because of anything I have done, but all because of what God has done for me. And when I am actually weak, then God can be strong for me! Nothing I will do, or ever do will be enough. But God says that his grace is sufficient for you. His grace is enough… It is ALWAYS enough.
Grace definition: God’s unearned and undeserved approval of us that flows from His love
My question for you:
Do you boast in your weaknesses? I believe there are two simple steps easily laid out for us in 2 Corinthians 12:9: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.”
1) BELIEVING God when He says, “ My grace is sufficient for you.”
God is simply stating that His grace (see definition above) is enough for us.
2) BELIEVING that God’s power is perfect in your weakness.
Knowing that God is WORKING in your weakness and not only is He working, but He will be revealed through your weaknesses. WHAT?
FREEDOM: I truly believe freedom will come when we actually talk about the hard things we are going through, to others and to God. God wants to show us how He is working in them. It’s going to go against your make-up as an athlete. But push, push against your flesh and talk about it, talk about them with God. He yearns to speak truth to you.
TRUTH: God is always working in those weaknesses. And we can be assured that His grace is always, always ALWAYS, enough for us. Even in moments of despair, hardship, and struggle. God is there. Knowing He is enough, knowing you are enough, WILL help us overcome whatever the circumstance is.
PAUSE: TAKE A DEEP BREATHE and ask yourself, is God enough for me amidst my current struggle/weakness?
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Hi Everyone! I work for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and specifically I get to work in the soccer community. Two of the biggest passions in my life are Jesus and soccer. Getting to combine the two and use soccer to bring people to know Jesus is the coolest thing! I grew up in Orange County, played soccer at Biola University where I studied Kinesiology. It brings me so much joy to share Jesus’ love with people and walk alongside, encourage and empower female athletes.