When I’m Weak God Gives Me Strength
We have probably all said “I’m weak” at some point in our lives. Carol shares a camp experience were God gave her strength.
I Was Feeling Weak
2016 had been a year which included so many changes. The puzzle pieces seemed to be in such a jumble. My father’s health failed and he needed a change of address so he could receive more care. Then he passed away and life changed for all of us. His death left an empty spot in our family gatherings and our lives. My camp speaking changed accordingly and my asthma was the worst it had been for a few years.
With improved breathing, I left for a week of speaking at a camp fairly close to home but one I had never been to before. I felt emotionally and spiritually drained as well as physically exhausted. I questioned whether God really wanted me to be at this camp because I had nothing left to give.
I prepared and packed. I clung to Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” as well as Philippians 4:19 “And my God shall meet all your needs according to glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Although broken and weak, I was willing for God to use me at this week of camp, despite how I felt. Chapel, held in a large Quonset style building, filled up with one hundred campers plus leaders and camp staff. I desperately needed God to give me words, to open their ears and hearts to listen to what He wanted them to hear and his strength to see me through.
The camp also had a couple whose job was to be camp grandparents that week. I felt an instant connection with the grandma. We visited. She listened when I honestly shared where I was at. So did the director’s wife. They prayed. They hugged me and shed tears with me. This wonderful grandma pulled me into a hug and told me tears were okay. I had permission to cry to as grief washed over me at unexpected times like walking into breakfast and having pancakes, my dad’s favourite.
God Provided Opportunities
God provided opportunities for great interaction with campers and staff as we sat together at free time or when they were in the lines for tuck time – who doesn’t like the chance for treats. He opened their ears and hearts and quieted their wiggling bodies during chapel time. Twice they sat so still as I stood in one spot telling a story the lights went out. The lights automatically went off when no movement in the building was detected. Hands waved in the air and the dark only lasted a couple of seconds. I truly believe only God could make the stillness happen.
There were also quiet times where I sat on the deck by my room, looked at the lake and enjoyed the beauty of God’s creation. Hearing everyone sing the worship songs at chapel time was like salve to my broken heart. Words of encouragement from wonderful women of God buoyed my spirits.
In my brokenness I came before God and poured out my heart and hurts. I prayed for His words to say, his compassion, his healing as I grieved the changes this year had brought. I must admit my faith remained small as I struggled with my brokenness and weakness.
Oh what a great God we have. He hears and answers in his time. That week campers began to ask leaders to answer more questions. They had a hunger to know more about God and his forgiveness. By the end of the week thirty-two campers and one of the young work crew members had accepted God’s wonderful gift of salvation and asked Jesus to forgive them. Oh what an amazing way to rejoice. Positive changes. Eternal changes. Changes only God could orchestrate.
Appearing weak and broken is not high on my wish list, especially when meeting new people. It likely isn’t high on anyone’s list of things they wish to be known for. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he (God) said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
I understood this verse better after that week of camp. God had used me beyond any expectation I had and in spite of how weak and broken I felt. What’s happening in your life? Is it a time of grieving? Is it a time of unexpected changes, tough stuff and hurts? The puzzle pieces of life might be in a mess or you might feel like there are some missing pieces. I know from experience life can be tough but when I’m weak and trust God he will provide all I need in his time. May you know his amazing presence today.
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.
Visit Carol’s website carolscorner.ca
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