Sunday, December 09, 2007

Embracing weakness

"Rick Hoyt is a severely disabled man. He is a mute quadriplegic who suffers from cerebral palsy and whose only way of communicating is through typing, with his mouth, into a special computer.

5 years ago when Rick was a teenager, he read a story about a charity run that was being organized to help a young man in his school who had just become paralyzed in an accident. Rick’s heart was moved and he typed out to his dad that he wanted to participate in the race as a way of showing this young man that life wasn’t over because he was now disabled.

His dad, touched by his son’s request, agreed to push him in the 5-mile race. It was 5 miles that would affect the whole journey of their lives

Since that first race, Dick Hoyt has participated with his son in hundreds of marathons and even iron men contests where he has not only pushed a wheelchair with his 110 pound son for 26.2 miles but he has towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars -- all in the same day.

Yet when they cross the finish line, it’s Rick, not his father, who gets the ribbon placed around his neck.

Each one of us has a race the Lord is calling us to run but it feels like He’s asking us to run the Boston Marathon when we can barely jog around our neighborhood. We feel disabled by the limitations and weaknesses we see in our lives.

Some of us become discouraged. We decide that we’ll never be qualified to run “the big race” so we don’t even try. Instead we’re content to stay on the sidelines or jog in a few small races. But deep inside we know we’ve never stepped up fully to all that the Lord has for us.

Others of us begin to train obsessively. We work hard to perfect ourselves so that we can be properly prepared for the race. The problem is we never feel prepared. There’s always something else we could be doing better, some other area of our lives that needs fixing before we can enter the race.

When the Lord calls us to run a race it’s not because He thinks we’re qualified. In fact it’s the opposite. God delights in choosing foolish things to shame the wise and weak things to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1:27). Why? Because God’s power is made perfect in weakness.

Paul understood this and that is why he could say, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

How many of us can honestly say we boast in our weaknesses? How many of us are willing to swallow our pride and openly display our weaknesses so that the power of God can rest on us?

The truth is we don’t expose our weaknesses – we hide them. We use them as an excuse not to venture with God. Or we frantically try to fix them so we can be “good enough” to be used by God.

In the story of Rick and Dick Hoyt it is the son’s weakness that allows the father’s love and strength to be displayed. That is what deeply moves us. Imagine what would happen if we, as believers, would “glory in our weakness”? What kind of pure love and power of God could be displayed to the world around us?

We are in a season where the Father is establishing us in rest. We hear the Lord is saying “Peace! Be Still” to the endless hamster wheel of human perfectionism. We don’t have to run around and around in circles anymore, trying to fix our weaknesses. We have a loving Father who will never call us to a race without giving us the grace to complete it – even if it means that He has to carry us the whole way. May we, like Paul, learn to boast in our weakness that Christ’s power may be seen. " (

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Finding my voice

"Open your mouth for those who cannot speak, and for the rights of those who are left without help. Open your mouth. Be right and fair in what you decide. Stand up for the rights of those who are suffering and in need." Proverbs 31:8-9

My daughter and I have been on a journey through history in our studies together and I am being increasingly broken by humanity's past and humanity at present. We still live in a world where life and freedom are not fully protected and honoured.

"The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly." - Jesus (John 10:10)

I can relate to the internal agony of Wilberforce as illustrated in the movie "Amazing Grace". Ignorance is indeed bliss but truth untouched is silent torture. I am becoming fully aware that there is a lions roar in me that has been supressed and struggles to find a voice. Because my own voice was silenced....I have found it easier to shut out the crys of others. I have found myself indifferent to the small acts of justice done by unjaded children.

As I reflected on personal moments of passion as a child I noticed they were always connected to rescue. When I dream in the night, I dream of rescue. When I imagine my future, I always see rescue. I know who I am when deep calls to deep. But I'm stuck. Freedom must reach me first. I am ready to be broken.

"What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love." - Martin Luther King

More Love, More Power, More of you Jesus. Let your kingdom come in me and then may it spill out, a fragrant offering.

"If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large” -William Wilberforce-