I have come to realize one of the challenges we face when experiencing any form of physical or emotional limitation is feeling like we have become damaged goods. Recently, I must admit that thought crossed my mind after my recent heart attack. I have always thought I was a strong and a self-sufficient person who was able to care for myself in any situation. I knew this was not a healthy way to view life and in my time of need I found out how flawed this kind of thinking can be. Life is organic. In other words, we become stronger because we are connected to lives beyond our own. We actually become weaker when we are disconnected and self-sufficient.
Over the years, I have read about Paul’s thorn in the flesh. If the thorn was in fact his weakened eyesight, it does reveal some interesting insight. Paul accomplished his greatest writing while afflicted. His affliction had become a connecting point with those he would rely on to help him accomplish his calling. Paul had to dictate his epistles to someone who would then write out the words the Lord gave him. Paul said the people he loved and served would have gladly plucked out their own eyes and given them to him to help him see. Here is a man who saw so much in the Spirit, yet was impaired in his ability to see in the natural. His need humbled him before those he served. As Paul discussed his weakness with the Corinthian church the Lord spoke to Paul and said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” In other words, in the area of our greatest weakness the possibility exists for the greatest release of God’s power in and through our lives.
As I survey the current state of my life, I realize what recently took place during my heart attack can now become a launching platform for the greatest season of effectiveness in my personal life and public ministry. This is not only true for me, but for anyone who will look beyond personal limitations and simply believe God for more. I don’t say this with any pride in my abilities or gifts. I say this because this is what the Word says about God working through human weakness. This is possible because in the weakened places of our lives we discover that we have two options. We can try and prove ourselves naturally in our own strength or we can allow the Lord to prove Himself through our weakness supernaturally. The latter is where the peace and power of God visit our lives.
Do you feel like part of your life has become damaged goods? If you feel this way, give that area to God and He will return it to your empowered and perfected in ways you never thought possible. Today, I ask you to join with me, with Paul and with many others who have lived and served God over the centuries and begin to celebrate the God-potential that exists in the most broken parts of your life. It will be in these areas where you need God to show up that you will discover a tremendous work of the Spirit waiting to be released. You are never damaged goods when God is involved.