Yesterday I was reading 2 Corinthians 12 where Paul talks about his "thorn in the flesh". In verses 9 and 10 he states:
"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
As I meditated on this, I realised how counter-cultural this is. As women in the 21st century, we are encouraged to be high achievers, ambitious in the workplace, "superwomen" who juggle family and career, excelling at both. It reminds me of a recent TV advert you may have seen where a woman is walking along juggling miniature versions of her husband, children and workplace. Suddenly she clutches her brow as she has a headache. She puts all of these things down for a moment, takes a well-known brand of painkiller and then picks everything up again and gets on with her day. In today's society, weakness is something to be avoided or got rid of at all costs.
But what is the reality, as Christian women? Often we will face difficulties or hardships which cannot be removed simply by popping a pill, and we are called to have a different attitude to these situations. In his commentary on these verses, Charles Hodge states:
"When we are really weak in ourselves, and conscious of that weakness, we are in a state suited to the manifestation of the power of God. Those who think they can change their own hearts, atone for their own sins, subdue the power of evil in their own souls or in the souls of others, who feel able to sustain themselves under affliction, God leaves to their own resources. But when they feel and acknowledge their weakness he communicates to them divine strength."
May we all glorify Christ in our lives today by relying on divine strength to help us in our weakness.