Delight in Weakness – Part One: Grace is Sufficient

By Kitty Hinkle

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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.

1 Corinthians 12:8-10

When I read of Paul’s affliction—his thorn in his side, and how he pleaded with God to remove it only to hear God say, “my Grace is sufficient”, I think of the many times I’ve pleaded to the Lord to relieve me from the struggles of widowhood.

While there are times I know there is so much victory in my life, there are equally times I find myself feeling lonely, overwhelmed or ridiculously inadequate.

Like when I can’t keep up with it all. There’s four of them (my kids) and one of me and I long for those times when my husband would take them all swimming and let me have that uninterrupted time to just collect myself, pay the bills, clean up my office and plan the next week’s schedule.

It seems that’s something I’ll never get over loosing, that feeling of having the time to pull it all together in a nice organized neat bow. Seems I’m barely able to get out the door to meet whatever appointment is next on my plate, and I’m terribly embarrassed when I’m late.

So what do I do when I’m late?  I rush in and hide in the back, hoping no one notices.  It’s kind of silly when you think about it.  Who would harshly judge a single mom with four kids just because she struggles with her schedule?

I know who—me.  For example, this morning I was to meet the summer camp busses dropping my son and all the other campers off. I knew where the meeting point was—I had met there a half a dozen times in past years. So when I arrived five minutes early, I congratulated myself—who says being a single mom of four boys is hard?

So as though to humble me, God arranged for the office park were we were to meet to be moved!

Yes, can you believe it?  Six story buildings gone, replaced by a strip mall.  The nerve of him!  I was positive the office part was on the corner of Providence and Route 51.

Or was it Providence and McKee Road.  Oops.

I glanced at my watch. Five minutes late. I turned around only to get stuck at the same light that I waited for going in the other direction!  I’m going to look so stupid, I said to myself.

By the time I pulled in to the parking lot, I was fifteen minutes late and saw familiar faces of moms and dads.  Oh, no, how long has my son been waiting. He’s probably the last one to be picked up!

Right behind me, the busses started pulling in and I relaxed. God’s so good! Not only would my son not know, but I betted none of the other parents would know either!

I parked the car and move toward the busses, saying hello to the other parents with a big smile like: see? No egg on my face!

Then I remembered—it isn’t me who got there before the busses.  It’s God who planned all along to save my son from having to wait there by himself.  In my weakness Christ’s power was revealed.  Who was I to hide that from others?

I finally admitted to another mother how hard it was for me to keep track of the location. I was surprised when she laughed and thanked me. “Sometimes I think all the other ladies but me have it together!” she said. “It’s nice to see someone being rescued by busses arriving late!”

It’s a small step to telling a testimony of God’s strength, but I never underestimate these small steps. God knows our weaknesses and reveals His glory each time He steps in where we fall short. Tomorrow I’ll write to you about a close sister who has an affliction she has struggled with her whole life and can testify to God shining through your weaknesses. Her story gives new perspective on how our struggles with grief and loneliness can create a character in us humble and worthy of being a testimony to God’s strength.

For when I am weak, He is strong.

5 replies
  1. Kim
    Kim says:

    I just found this site and am blessed that the Holy Spirit led me to it. I’ve been widowed 3 yrs. And still struggle. Married almost 33 yrs. @ the time of my husband’s death, our sons were grown and gone. However, I had become disabled and my dear husband and I worked as a team to get whatever needed to be done, done. On days when I wasn’t up to pulling my part, he gladly and unselfishly jumped in. Since his passing, I’ve felt such loss, can’t organize myself, although I’m praying for help, and miss him terribly. It wasn’t until recently, when I became involved with a wonderful church filled with good people that I started to feel less a failure in this new journey of widowhood. I finally realize God does have a plan for my life and He’s calling me to do something for Him. I know I’ll see my husband when I go home one day. Thank you for your words of wisdom on these pages.

  2. Shawn Marie
    Shawn Marie says:

    Thanks for this post, at 1 year and 4 months since John’s passing, I can’t seem to get organized or be on time. Like you Kitty I miss those moments of team work between John and I. Also a mother of four, I can totally relate. But thank God for his GRACE. I have shown up sometimes where my kids were the last one there, but I try my best to remember I am only one person and that I am doing my best. Also most of the time they have the company of one another to occupy them until I get there. I have to fight hard not to come down on myself because I have never really been that organized, but I am better ( God perfecting that weakness). I praise him for his great strength.

  3. Barb Wall
    Barb Wall says:

    Dear Kitty, I too went thru the hollow feelings of being late and unorganized–to the point that my youngest left my home and went to live with my sister. I was a terrible mess and I am embarrased for all those hard times I had. I have put all my woes in God’s hands–took me along time but I am so much more at peace!!! Praise the Lord!!! May God bless you and your wonderful 4!!!! One day at a time–easier said than done. Blessings, Barb

  4. Susan
    Susan says:

    Thanks for sharing this perspective of God’s grace being sufficient for each of us. Yes, His grace even in the seemingly little things in life, like getting to an appointment on time is a blessing worthy of thanksgiving and sharing… And boy can I relate to the feeling of inadequacy when I am “behind schedule.” It happens more often than I’d like to admit and I am not a single parent and I only have one child! I realize now that I need to commit my time to the Lord, and ask Him to help me manage it.

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