Delighting in Weaknesses

Not long ago a friend and I were pondering the mystery of how Christ opens our hearts to His strength in our weaknesses, how He transforms us in the deepest of places. From that pondering came a story, an allegory from my own past.

May Jesus bless you as you read the story of my heart hidden in Him.

 

~~~~~~~~

 

The Sister

 

The worn-out case sat in the corner of the thrift store, hiding a treasure. But the treasure within did not look like something that was worth winning. Both the case and the treasure spoke only of older days and weakness.  And yet, the teenage construction worker eagerly paid his $10 for the gift to take home to his little sister. He had been sweating in the heat as he learned a trade with the Amish workmen. So when they invited him to pause for a rest inside the consignment store, he was grateful for the respite. The urgency to buy the old case surprised him. And yet he could not resist the urging, as if the treasure inside was calling out to him.

When the sister opened the case, the tarnished keys and fittings sparkled in her eyes. She could not see the dust or the years of neglect that others saw. She only saw the gift and the treasure that others missed. The parents sent the treasure to an old workman, asking if it was worth repairing. He vowed he would do his best, but the treasure was mostly beyond saving even in his expert eyes.

 

adam-cai-rcca942e_si-unsplash

 

And yet, when the sister received back the treasure her heart began to sing. As she lifted the instrument to her lips, all her heart was released through those keys and pads and the wooden reed. She won contests, she played solos, and she sat alone in her room lifting her heart to the maker of all music through the treasure. The conductor was amazed at the music she could pour forth when even he could not produce a sound from its depths. But she knew.

The treasure was a gift just for her.

The years rolled by and the sparkle of others next to her began to dim her eyes to the beauty of her own treasure. The sister heard of a newer version and laid aside her treasure. She took up what she thought was expected of her: glittering outer shells and physical strength of her own. Wasn’t that what everyone else wanted anyway?

But her heart missed the days of pure inner beauty. The song now lay muffled somewhere deep in her soul.

The sister wore the masks of outer glitter and strength, even as she protested and spoke aloud for the need to be unmasked. She could not see that she still wore the mask herself.

The years continued to roll, and one breaking after another began to peel away layers of the mask. One by one, portions of her ability to be strong and to fix those other mask-bearers around her fell away. The weakness in her deep places began to be uncovered, and she found peace in leaning on her Maker’s chest alone. She asked the Maker to smash those masks. She cried that she did not want that outer glimmer any longer.

How could it be? Even as she had cried out to the Maker to take away the mask, she still despised the place of weakness she saw in herself. Instead of seeing the hidden treasure within, she saw only the slow, heavy ways of her outer weakness. She heard the music of that treasure echoing in her heart, but it was barely to be recognized it was so faint. She got up and tried to walk in the old outer strength, hearing those other voices naming her the strong one again. And yet, more and more that strength had begun to fail her.

Until the day the outer strength was finally broken. It was then she heard His music loud and clear: the Maker’s song, calling out to her. She wanted to sing with Him, but she missed the old strength. When she looked for that mask it was gone, the Maker had heard her cry and smashed it to bits so small that even if she had tried, it could never be pieced together again. She sat in her weakness and looked up to where the music seemed to swell beyond understanding. The Maker was asking her to rise with Him, to soar above the weakness.

And she cried. She knew her strength could never lift her high enough to soar with Him. And yet, He was scooping her up. From within the very place of weakness, He was carrying her to the soaring place, and singing for her. It was all the same music.

The sound of her treasure, the weakest of instruments, was joined with the Maker of ALL.

His communion.

His life.

His song given for her.

The treasure had been HIM all along. Uncovered and unmasked, the beauty of His singing was clear now, as she sang from the treasure within.

 

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 2 Corinthians 11:30 NIV

 

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But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV

 

~~~~~~

 

That sister was me, (as you probably guessed,) and the teenage construction worker was my older brother, the youngest of 3 older brothers. He found a clarinet in the dim recesses of a thrift store. Recently, I have thought about that gift of music and my older brothers who loved me through all of the changes in my life. All three of them saw gifts within me that I never saw in myself. When I thought that all they could see was the “baby of the family” striving so hard to be strong like them, they were actually watching over me and caring in a way that no one else could.

God had allowed their caring to give me a picture of the One who cares for me in the deepest way possible. Even as I finish this post from within the middle of a pain-filled flare that has rendered my typing down to one-handed pecking, HE sees the beauty of a heart that has found HIS strength to be what I truly need.

 

Is the Maker of ALL beckoning to you today?

Are there treasures in your heart that only HE can uncover?

 

Would you join me in prayer?

Dear Maker of All,

Thank You for creating us with such longing to bring us into Your very plans and purposes. Thank You for planting within each one of us the gifts and treasures that are timeless and full of Your Glory. Would You open our eyes to see the glory hidden inside? Would You wash our eyes to be able to see the washing of our souls that You have accomplished through Your own sacrifice?  We ask You to tear down those masks and those walls that we have thought we needed to survive. Show us the beauty of being saved and rescued by YOU, the beauty of letting YOUR power shine in our weaknesses. Stir up Your praise song from the deepest of wells within our hearts.

In the Name of Jesus, Your Son, we pray,

Amen.

 

 

 

 

(Clarinet photo credit of Adam Cai on Unsplash.)

 

I am linking with:

#LMMLinkup

#TellHisStory

#TeaAndWord

42 thoughts on “Delighting in Weaknesses

  1. Beautiful story. God is bringing his gifts to life through your pain and weakness. (We are both the “babies” in our resp. families.)

    Love, Lisa

    Den tis 1 okt. 2019 21:19BettieGsRAseasons skrev:

    > Bettie G posted: “Not long ago a friend and I were pondering the mystery > of how Christ opens our hearts to His strength in our weaknesses, how He > transforms us in the deepest of places. From that pondering came a story, > an allegory from my own past. May Jesus bless you as” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lisa, Yes, we are both the “babies” in our families, and yet God has given us such immense blessing right there, hasn’t He? Thank you so much for all of your encouragement and understanding Dear Sister. You have become such a dear friend to me. May you be blessed this week.

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  2. Oh Bettie, this allegory and prayer have touched me deeply in those hidden places of my heart where I keep the masks and walls in place. I even hold up those masks outwardly, acting stronger than I’m feeling. Yes, Lord, “Show us the beauty of being saved and rescued by YOU, the beauty of letting YOUR power shine in our weaknesses.” Thank you so much for allowing His beauty and power to shine through your weakness and pain! Love and blessings of strength and peace for each moment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Trudy,
      Oh, I know how easy it is to want to cover up the pain we are in, and act stronger than we feel. I am so grateful that He calls to us right there. Thank you for bringing that encouragement of Jesus to me also Dear Friend. What a blessing that Jesus allows us to share with each other, and point to Him. Love and blessings and hugs to you too! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for this little peak into a momentous moment in your life, Bettie. Love this: “The treasure had been HIM all along. Uncovered and unmasked, the beauty of His singing was clear now, as she sang from the treasure within.” May we all learn to use our treasures for his glory!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Bettie..Do you know one thing ! How happy I’am when I saw your writings..Whenever I just enter into my homepage, the first thing I look for is your post..I found truth and love in your words that is guided by only one power its none other that Him..Our Living God who sustains everything..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Dear Athira, your words are so kind and encouraging for me, and bring tears to my eyes. He truly is our “only one power” so great for us! Praise Him for sustaining us every day. Love and blessings to you Dear Sister.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Wendi,
      Thank you dear friend for your sweet comments. You are such an encouragement to me. Our Jesus writes such beautiful stories into our lives for us, doesn’t He? I think that we will all see our lives like amazing novels when He unrolls it all for us in Heaven. Won’t that be beautiful? He is such a good shepherd for us, leading us each step. Blessings, love and hugs to you this week!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Bettie, this is one of the most beautiful things I have read. What a testimony to the power of God in weakness. He reaches down, picks us up and carries us along. He is the One who fills us with singing and delight. Even when I am so tired, He is holding me and giving me strength. I pray that I will always rely on Him to give me grace and strength and a desire to share His love with others. Much love to you, dear sister, with many blessings! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Gayl, I am so very thankful for the encouragement you have been to me to keep singing His songs, and then to share what He gives. I am so grateful He has allowed us to pray for each other thru the weak and weary days. May you feel His precious arms holding you today. Much love and hugs, dear poet/sister/friend. Xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Julie, thank you so much for your deep heart of compassion! Your prayers and love are such a gift. I pray that He would continue to guide you as you share His love so freely! Love & blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Bettie,

    This is so beautiful and timely. I’ve sensed tears forming as I read this over and over again. Yet somehow I’m unable to release them yet. Tears often spring to my eyes but rarely fall. Maybe I’ve hardened my heart too much in such a self-protective way that I’m afraid to release them. But I am deeply touched by your words, especially these:

    “We ask You to tear down those masks and those walls that we have thought we needed to survive. Show us the beauty of being saved and rescued by YOU, the beauty of letting YOUR power shine in our weaknesses. Stir up Your praise song from the deepest of wells within our hearts.”

    They tie in with something Anna shared with me recently. Although I had my own ideas earlier on this year when He gave me the word “deeper”, I think God is asking me to go deeper into weakness, deeper into dependence and deeper into an awareness of HIS holding and strengthening power. But I can only fully experience it if I am willing to shed my masks, false walls of security in other things, and all I’ve clung to in protest at being chronically sick for 30 years.

    Thank you for being instrumental in helping me to see what needs shedding, severance and pulling down. I’m scared at heart because I already feel so weak. Yet I’m rejoicing inside because God is opening my eyes to truth I missed when I was seeking to become what my heart desired more.

    Much love and hugs, Joy xox 😘💌📝🌸💟

    On Tue, Oct 1, 2019 at 7:19 PM BettieGsRAseasons wrote:

    > Bettie G posted: “Not long ago a friend and I were pondering the mystery > of how Christ opens our hearts to His strength in our weaknesses, how He > transforms us in the deepest of places. From that pondering came a story, > an allegory from my own past. May Jesus bless you as” >

    Like

    1. Dear Joy,
      Oh, my friend, I am shedding tears for both of us as I read your words. But I am going to pray that Jesus will open the floodgates of those tears to fall even as He moves toward your own request to tear down those walls. You have been such a gift to me through these years of blogging with chronic illness–really the first one that I read who was telling the truth about living for Jesus in the midst of the weak places of illness. So I know that He has already been preparing and working to bring those walls down that you can still see.

      Isn’t it amazing that He does ask us “to go deeper into weakness, deeper into dependence and deeper into an awareness of HIS holding and strengthening power?” But you are so right that we cannot see the full depth until we are ready to let go of those other false places of security. He has so much to give us once we open our hands to receive.

      And yes, I know that my heart beats so timidly with the fear of what that plunging will actually look like. Oh, but yes, the rejoicing that He brings right here in our weakness is so much greater than anything we could have planned or known on our own. You are such a blessing to me. And I count it a true honor to pray for and with you. Love and hugs and blessings my dear heart-friend. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Bettie, I am awed and honoured to have been instrumental in aiding you on your journey. It’s a great joy and gift, and added blessing to have become close friends and Heart-Sisters who truly get what is the other person is going through. And are able to encourage and support one another on the chronic illness pathway.

        Although I have shared widely about many issues and life challenges in the books and on the blogs, I think I’ve actually shied away sometimes from admitting just how much this illness impacts everything in my life. Now I’m in a place where I can think of little else! Because God has called me aside from my previously busy and active online and blogging life, into a prolonged season of rest that seems to have no end. Healing and recuperation seem to be required to a level I had barely anticipated beforehand.

        When we reach new depths of invisibility to the world, and greater degrees of dependence on God that go much deeper than before, it feels scary and hard. But I am hoping it will become easier over time, and maybe produce fruit I cannot begin to imagine yet. Thank you so much for your faithful support, love and prayers over these last few silent months. They’ve been a tremendous help, far more than you might know. Much love, blessings, and grateful hugs to you, dear friend! xoxo 💜

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Dear Joy,
          Thank you for sharing so honestly about the difficulties that are faced when new levels of resting and quietness are required. This year has been such a time of testing for you, coming on the heels of your latest book, so I cannot imagine the level of patience you have needed. I lift my prayers for you in this place, asking God to fill you with such blessed times of intimate fellowship as you recuperate with Him.

          Even in this past year as I have had to face new challenges, those questions of how and when rise from the depths of my heart. I am so grateful that Jesus understands our “not-understanding” and is so close-by to give us His support. I am grateful that He allows us to share together in the fruit that others might not see, and yet we who have slowed our pace so drastically find such blessing in ways we could not have known before either. What a sweet gift of fellowship you have shared with me, dear Heart-Sister. Much love, hugs and blessings for you! xoxo

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Karen,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. Your encouragement is such a blessing to me. May I allow Jesus to keep moving me forward on His path. Blessings to you!

      Like

  7. You are a beautiful storyteller. The progression of finding the music within us to losing it and then finding it again is just beautiful. God is the Conductor of our lives and can produce beautiful music out of each of us. What a beautiful heartsong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary,
      Thank you for your sweet words and precious encouragement. Truly, our Lord does bring such beautiful music from the depths of our heart! May I allow Him to have more access to that heartsong! Love & blessings to you dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Thank you so much for all of your beautiful prayers! I want to tell you thank you for posting that amazing flyer that your Mother had saved. It touched my heart deeply, but I am sorry that my comment again did not go through. I am praying for you and your dear family also. May we all keep our eyes fixed on our Lord Jesus in these last days!

      Like

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