From Pauses for Pentecost
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words,
but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,
so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
(1 Corinthians 2:4-5)
Most of us limp in one way or another. Our limp could be something physical, an addiction to some substance, an emotional wound from the past, a quirk of personality, or a problem in relationships. Whatever it is, our Achilles heel continually reminds us that we are not totally whole and healthy. But while it may cause us distress and despair, the good news is that our point of weakness is where God’s Spirit wants to empower us and make us stronger.
Certainly, Paul the apostle would affirm this truth. He knows that God is a God of power. Twice in today’s verse he refers to the power of God and God’s Spirit. But he also knows that God’s power will be shown in his weakness. We know by his own admission that he is not eloquent and captivating as a public speaker, yet he is convinced that God can work miracles in spite of his limp. Elsewhere he writes (concerning his struggle with his thorn in the flesh) that the Lord has said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
How would you describe your own “limp,” your own Achilles heel? We don’t have to hide it, pretend that we have life all together, or allow our limp to disqualify us from God’s work. It is precisely at our point of weakness that we can become spiritually strong. The crucial thing is to acknowledge our limp, share our struggle with our sisters and brothers in the faith, and trust God’s grace to help us do what we cannot do in our own strength. Our lives can become, like Paul’s life, an example of the Spirit’s power. After all, this is what it means to live as Easter people empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Share your Achilles heel with the Lord and with one other person you trust. Ask God to help you anticipate the power of the Spirit where you limp.