Sweet Sisters,

            I have noticed as I am approaching 65, that if I am not really intentional about controlling my emotions, that life can become very frustrating.  Age has brought changes for me that have caught me by surprise.  Some are annoying and some are a bit overwhelming.  I find myself in some areas of my life weaker and more vulnerable than I used to be.  Simple activities, like stepping up on a curb or walking across a parking lot, take a lot more effort now.  Working in my flower beds or cleaning my house have become much more difficult.  Satan senses my fear and uses it to his advantage.  He whispers, “You are weak.  You are powerless.  If life is like this now, what will it be like a year from now?  You have gotten old and useless.”

But (thank you Jesus), the Holy Spirit shouts at me:

II Timothy 1:7 (NKJ)- For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 

Paul, the apostle, knew what it meant to feel weak.  He writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (I want you to see it in the Passion Translation):

But he answered me“My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me. 10 So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.

Paul learned that when life was difficult and when he felt weak, that was when God’s power in him was the strongest.  I love how this version translates the last sentence:  For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.

A “portal” is a doorway or a gate; especially a larger and imposing one.  In our world today it is also a starting site for connecting to “the web”.                                                                                                            

I learn from this that God moves through my weaknesses to touch the world around me.  I want to share two examples of women in my life who I have seen God work this way in their lives.

The first woman was Tina.  Tina was my sister’s college roommate.  Tina was born with Cystic Fibrosis or CF.  It affects your respiratory and digestive systems and is usually fatal.  There is no cure for it.  Today people can live to be in their late 40’s with CF.  30 years ago, people were lucky to live to be 30.

Tina’s body was weak.  She was in and out of the hospital but Tina had a passion and a love for Jesus that was beyond anything I had ever seen before and I have rarely seen since.  Being around Tina was an experience you did not forget.  She was happy and joyful.  She trusted God completely with her life. During her darkest days, God’s light showed brilliantly through her.  All these years later, I still long to have the relationship with Jesus that Tina had.  Tina died 25 years ago.

My second example is my sweet “sister” Patricia.  Patricia has been fighting cancer for 7 years.  She has had countless chemo and radiation treatments.  She is often tired, weak, and in pain.

Patricia leads several women’s prayer groups every week.  Every year at Christmas time, Patricia organizes a “Shoe Project”.  She picks a city in a Central or South American country and collects money to cover the cost of 60 – 75 pairs of shoes for children who have no shoes.  She arranges for the shoes to be bought.  Children sign up and get a pair of shoes that fits them.  She goes to each location each year to oversee the children receiving the shoes.  You should see her pictures.

Patricia has a deep, steadfast trust that her life and her challenges are in God’s hands.  She allows God to use her as a “portal” to everyone she comes in contact with.  She is kind and gentle but fiercely determined to not let her weakness keep her from making a difference in her world.

God’s Word has much to say about how He is able to work through our weakness in powerful ways.

Psalm 73:26

My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

Isaiah 40:29 

He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.

I Corinthians 1:27

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

Ephesians 6:10

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 

Philippians 4:13

 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Sweet Sisters, what I am also learning during this chapter of my life is that God will absolutely provide everything I need if I lean on Him and not on what I can do.  Time and time again when I am feeling frustrated over what I can no longer do, He shows up and incredible, amazing things happen.

I want to close with Ephesians 3:20.  I want to share it using the Passion Translation because it helps us see it in a fresh new way.

Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.

May we become “portals” for God through the weakness in our lives.

Debbie ❤