Who Needs Old Bootstraps?

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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  –2 Corinthians 12:9

How can I be so weak? How many times do I have to fall before I get it right? Questions like these plagued me for years—many years. As a woman who lived a very addictive lifestyle, I was familiar with failure. In fact, I was so comfortable with it that accepting a gift like God’s incredible favor and grace was difficult for me to comprehend, let alone embrace as truth in my life.

When I first read 2 Corinthians 12:9, I was more than a little surprised. God’s Word said that when I was weak (and I was, often), His power would work best in me. Wow! What an amazing statement, so contrary to what the world had taught me. We live in a society that says, “Just pull yourself up by your boot straps. Be strong!” In First Place, learning how Christ could work powerfully through me because of my shortcomings gave me something I hadn’t had in a long time—hope.

Now I no longer have to pretend to be strong. I can admit my mistakes, mishaps and failures, and I have a God who loves and forgives me anyway. Today is today and tomorrow is a new day, a new beginning, a fresh start. Instead of pulling up our bootstraps when we fall, we can ask for forgiveness and allow our Lord and Savior to pull us up by His grace. After all, it’s a gift—shouldn’t we accept it?

PRAYER

Lord, today I start fresh. I am ready to begin again. In my weaknesses You are strong. When I fall, You so graciously pick me up and set me on Your solid ground, again. Thank You for Your gift of grace. May I walk in Your strength and power today, one step at a time. In Jesus’ mighty name, I pray. Amen!

JOURNAL

Reflect on the times when you believed that in order to improve you had to be strong and handle your problems all on your own. Write about a time when in your weakness God proved Himself to be strong and lifted you up to higher ground.

Carol Van Atta