Out of My Weakness

by Mar 13, 2023Devotional

“Out of weakness were made strong…” Hebrews 11:34

Ever felt inadequate?

Years ago, I went to a camp with wonderful people, but the majority of them were not from the same culture as me.  Somehow my Midwest friendliness totally overwhelmed some of the women. 

I had happily gone to the playground in between services with my children.  I was excited to meet some new friends.  These poor women did not realize that I was on a friendship quest, and they looked uncomfortable that I had dared to talk to them when I did not know them. 

The experience was leaving me feeling insecure when suddenly it was time to go.  Free time was up, and I needed to collect my preschooler.  When I tried to tell this child, who was actually used to obeying me, that it was time to go, he yelled, “No!” 

You could feel the shock all across the playground.  I felt that my parenting skills were being labeled and judged at that moment. 

It seems that my worst parenting always took place if I had an audience. I’ve always despised being on display with one of the tasks that I’ve never been fabulous at…the disciplinarian!

As everyone watched the battle going on, my lovely child ran to the swing set jungle gym and scrambled up inside to the loft, I guess, thinking that I couldn’t get him.  He knew he had an audience, and so he thought I was helpless.

Despite all my embarrassment, I found that a grown mother can crawl up a child’s ladder of a jungle gym loft and yank her preschool son out of the whole environment!  Just like a ventriloquist (my lips were not moving), but I was saying in his ear, “Don’t you ever do that again!”

Later one of the women at that camp explained to a friend of mine that I was sure to (spiritually) lose my children.  The woman said, “My children have never told me, “No!”

I’ll admit it…I am challenged as a parent.  It’s not my greatest strength.  I am so challenged that I am not getting ready to write a child-rearing book.  I am aware that I am not a calm or consistent parent.  And yes, my children have told me “No” before.

My only hope is to pray and pray and experiment and try my best. 

(And…I’ve tried to make it extremely uncomfortable to them if they yelled, “No!” and ran up a slide even if there were a bunch of shocked mothers looking on). 

Thank the Lord, that preschooler has grown up to be a twenty-one-year-old young man who loves God and holiness! 

Lately, one of my jobs has been to teach my two teenagers geometry.  It has been exactly thirty-six years since I took geometry, and I want to confess that this isn’t the greatest strength I have either.  Comma rules are clearer to me than some of these theorems and postulates.

But we are making it with God’s help!

Today if the things you are doing are not in your comfort zone…if they boggle your mind…if you are feeling inadequate and insecure, in your weakness, God can make Himself strong!

Just like geometry…Some of us may love it.  (Not to question this group of people’s sanity, or anything.)  Some of us may hate it.  Some of us may get it the first time that it is explained to us, and some of us may have to study and study and study. 

Even if what you are up against is something that is out of your comfort zone…even if your circumstances are difficult, God has promised help!  By His grace you can survive.

Roll this over on Him.  His help is better than any tutor!  And it’s far better than my disciplinarian skills!

When we have exhausted our store of endurance

When our strength has failed ere the day is half done

When we reach the end of our hoarded resources

Our Father’s full giving is only begun

-Annie Johnson Flint

14 Comments

  1. Brenda Shimp

    Very good!!

    • Elizabeth Hamilton

      Thank you!

  2. Melinda Heyer

    Thank you for this good reminder. It is amazing how often the Lord lays just the right devotional on your heart, This is exactly what I need to hear 💖

    • Elizabeth Hamilton

      I’m so glad!

  3. Deena

    Thank you for this, Elizabeth ❤️ it definitely hit home with me in more than one way!

    • Elizabeth Hamilton

      So glad for God’s help!

  4. Stephanie

    🙏❤️Amen!❤️ Perfect timing, and He is working powerfully in all of it.🙌

    • Elizabeth Hamilton

      Thank you!

  5. Gareth Nickerson

    So practical – needed – and on point! Thank you – from a busy minister and parent who is keenly aware that we aren’t doing it all right….. but Oh we want to please Him.

    • Elizabeth Hamilton

      My heart beats with yours!

  6. Leona F Wade

    The end result is what counts. All of your children are serving the Lord and that’s what counts.

    • Elizabeth Hamilton

      Like Uncle Gary used to say, we have not made it yet, pray for us!

  7. Elizabeth Bell

    One day your children will rise up and call you “Blessed”, as Proverbs 31 says.
    I appreciate all you stand for and enjoy your devotionals so much!

    Keep encouraged and keep writing:)

    • Elizabeth Hamilton

      I appreciate your comments! Thank you!