Strength from Weakness
June 11, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV.
For 25 years, Station 17, has been making music. Station 17 is a somewhat obscure and unusual band from Hamburg, Germany. The band is obscure because not a lot of people know about it, and it is unusual because it consists of members who are physically or mentally disabled. The band was formed by Kai Boysen, a social worker, who had been the lead singer in the Painless Dirties, a punk rock group. Boysen may have settled down, but the desire to make music never left him. As a social worker, he found that music therapy was a wonderful tool for use with the disabled. Within the weakness of the disabilities of Station 17, has come the strength of their amazing creativity with a completely unique sound. Here is the link to a YouTube video about the group: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STA7abbXkoo&feature=player_embedded
From those society would deem of little value has come great value. Station 17 is just one of countless times that society, the world, has been wrong about people. Who would have thought that someone deaf and blind from birth could earn a college degree and write 12 books? But that is what Helen Keller did. How could anyone with muscular dystrophy contribute to society? But that is what Ralph Braun did. In 1966, Ralph created the first wheelchair accessible vehicle with hand controls. Through continued innovation, he has brought mobility to millions of people. Although Abraham Lincoln suffered from bouts with severe depression and grew up in the backwoods of Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois, he was still able to become one of the greatest presidents of the United States. The list of people with disabilities in one form or another that have lived successful lives is endless.
Weakness in the hands of God, can be an overcoming power. God said to the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul had a thorn in the flesh that he pleaded with God on three separate occasions to remove. Those prayers were not answered in the way that Paul thought that he wanted. However, Paul discovered a great secret. What was that secret? Here is how Paul described it, “when I am weak, then I am strong.” Many believe that his thorn in the flesh was a problem with his eyesight. Possibly a disease he contracted on his first mission trip. But that did not stop Paul from writing. He just spoke the words and another recorded them for us to read.
Think about the strength and the good that has come from weakness. Consider the weakness of a shepherd boy named David. David was the smallest and youngest of the family, but he was the one who had the faith to believe he could sling a stone and slay the giant Goliath. The ultimate example of strength from weakness is given in Jesus. Jesus, the Creator of worlds who could have called legions of angels to take him down from the cross, instead He became the helpless lamb and through weakness became our Savior. If you have a thorn in your flesh that has made you weak, remember that in the hands of God when you are weak, you can be strong. As we are told through the apostle Paul, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”