Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.
Ask God to show you the truth that He has placed in others, the Truth He created them to manifest.
And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness; And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me–the fountain of all righteousness.
This concept has been brought to my attention through a lot of different people. I’d like to share a few of those instances with you.
I remember when I was in high school I had a seminary teacher who was amazing. The funny thing is, I only remember a few of the lessons that she gave. It wasn’t so much what she said all the time that stood out to me, it was that I knew she loved me, she believed in me and brought out the best in me. I loved her for that.
One day in her class she shared with us that she had prayed, asking God to show her who we really were in Him. This wasn’t just a once upon a time prayer, but a prayer she prayed constantly. She told us that God had answered her prayer, and He had shown her who we were in Him.
For some reason, that has stuck in my memory all this time. At one point I put the way she treated me and the way I felt around her and what she said God showed her together. I realized that her love for me, how she believed in me, came out of the fact that God had showed her who I was to Him.
Another story, maybe this is a little weird for you, but my Papa, when he’s gone through his rough times, sometimes you’d look at his face and it wasn’t him that looked back at you. His eternal identity was so buried in lies and what comes with them, you could hardly detect him underneath it all. I remember one of my aunt’s saying that she just kept pushing through the lies until she got to him, and then she’d talk to him. I don’t know exactly how she did that, but she did. It really meant a lot to Papa.
During my very first visit to a psychiatric hospital at age 18 they had us do an art project. Art and music are common therapies used in psychiatric hospitals. With this particular art project they had us take a rectangular piece of poster board and fold it in thirds. In the first third we were to draw what our ancestors had passed down to us, in the second we were to put things about us that we wanted to change about ourselves that we didn’t like, in the third we were supposed to put what we wanted to pass onto our children.
I remember drawing a piano in the first section, because music was a big thing in my family. For the life of me, I don’t remember what else I drew in that section. I know I wanted to pass on my testimony of Christ and music to my kids. But I took some creative license with the middle section and I refused to put down things about myself that I didn’t like. Instead I drew a picture of a brain that was healthy and a heart that was healthy. I wrote two things in that section: weakness turned to strength and love unfeigned. I didn’t want to focus on all the things that I didn’t like, I wanted to focus on what I believed God would do with all the things I didn’t like–turn them to strengths.
During that same hospital stay I made some friends there. One was another woman, several years older than me who had battled with mental illness for a long time. One day she asked me if I would ever talk to anyone about my mental illness. I knew I would, because what if my story helped someone else and made their way easier? The thought of doing that for her was terrifying. But for me, it was freedom. If God could take this broken place in me and use it to lift someone up and ease their walk and if nothing else, just let them know that they’re not alone in what their going through, it was worth it to expose myself. If someone can build something beautiful from the ashes of my pain, then it makes everything I’m going through worth it.
Sometimes our weakness are our strengths because it is through our weaknesses that we gain compassion. It is the compassion that is gained through those things that give us strength. If we go through a hard or trying thing and come out without it, we’ve lost the whole point of going through it.
Sometimes when I look around at different people and I see their life package it makes me want to run away as fast as possible. I’m sure there have been people who’ve felt that way about me too! 🙂 Honestly, I’d run from myself sometimes if I could. But, if I, if we, can look past the ugliness of it all and diligently search, we can find the capacity of compassion that God is cultivating in that person, that they couldn’t have without the experiences they’re going through. Sometimes God has blessed me to be able to see “a thorn in the flesh” in myself or someone else and how God is using it to create something He can use for His glory. It is often the most broken places that have the greatest capacity to bring healing in the world, because of the awareness and compassion that person develops for other broken people. No one understands what you’re going through like another person going through the same thing.
So if you see yourself, or someone else, with a life riveted with pain and brokenness and darkness, know that when healing comes and the light shines it will be all the more sweeter and brighter. The ability to reach broken humanity will be all the more for what one broken person through Christ is able to embrace and conquer.
Does the path of brokenness seem long and hard and like it will never end? Know this, God is digging a deeper well of compassion in you to fill with water to give to His thirsty children. The price you’re paying now is an investment in you and in humanity, and it’s going to pay for itself over and over again. This is the plan of redemption, working every day. We all play a part and we all need each other. God is working in each of our lives, to dig a deeper well. And we all need water from each other’s well at times to keep going.
Assignment for Dare Six:
Think of someone in your life who you’ve been struggling with. Write down the things that you are having a hard time with. Look at each of those things and ask God how He is digging a deeper well of compassion in them. How can this weakness be turned to a strength? Ask Him to show you the truth that He has created them to manifest and that He’s working with them to manifest.