“They are weak, but He is strong.”
One of the first songs I learned as a child was likely “Jesus Loves Me,” which was based on a poem by Anna Bartlett Warner. The first verse says:
“Jesus loves me—this I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to him belong,—
They are weak, but he is strong.”
I was interested in the first three lines of the song.
Jesus loves me? Great!
The Bible confirms it? Wonderful.
I belong to Him? Fantastic!
They are weak but he is strong? OK, I conceded that He is strong, but I didn’t want to admit that I am weak. I wanted to be strong, confident, and capable. Maybe little ones are weak, but as I grew up, I congratulated myself when I could handle on my own what came my way and I berated myself when I had to ask for help. Like a toddler who wants to do everything herself, I didn’t want to admit that anything was beyond my capabilities. Weakness felt like failure.
And then, I had two kids two years apart. I worked a part time job from home. I tried to keep everyone happy. I was lonely. I was struggling. And I got depressed.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV says, “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 of 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.”
Being strong in Jesus looks different for everyone. For me, I had to ask for help. I talked life over with a godly counselor, and she gave me tools and perspective which helped when I was overwhelmed. I sought Christian mentors, some in person and some through the writings of others who had been through similar experiences. I figured out what I needed help with at home and accepted the help of others. I tried to stop comparing myself to others who had more money, a wider support system, or just seemed to have it more together. All of these things, God used to work on my pride, my fearful thoughts, and my trust in Him.
I continue to cherish this child’s song, now understanding more of what can come of me not hating my weakness but trusting it to Christ.
Lord, Please be the strength I need today for the places I am weak. Thank you that your strength is more than enough to cover my weaknesses. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.