When Weak is Really Strong
by Kristan Dooley
October 06th, 2016

Jesus has a plan for us in the brokenness of others, but His plan is not to be played out in our strengths.  Our weakness keeps it about Jesus. It keeps all eyes on Him and all hands open to where He may be leading.

2 Corinthians 12:19 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Paul goes on to talk about how he has made it a practice to boast on and even celebrate his weaknesses and persecution, for when he is weak, God gets to be strong. When things happen because we are competent, capable and have life all together, there is space for the Father in the glory—but oftentimes, that space has to be made. In our strengths we must humbly choose to get out of the way and allow Him to shine through. When things happen in our weakness, it becomes obvious who gets the glory. The Father has stepped in and made the impossible possible and His intervention actually speaks for itself.

We were created to be broken and we were created to love, sit and walk with broken people. It’s why we have experiences like a mission trip, only to come back saying, “they blessed me more than I blessed them.” Because the Kingdom of God is an upside-down Kingdom, we don’t receive from our strength, we receive from weakness. The more I am aware of my own weakness, the easier it is to call on His name and the easier it is to inspire others to follow suit.

It’s the story of Job. Job was a wealthy, God-fearing man who had everything and lost everything, all in the same day. From the loss of his family to the loss of his health, Job continued to worship God in the midst of weakness. Even Job’s wife begged her husband to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9, NIV.) Weak and at the end of himself, Job sat down and took a shivah. “Sitting Shivah” was a Jewish custom for mourning. Shivah was their opportunity to weep, wail and mourn over their lost. It was an opportunity to be weak and dependent. God had given Job so much and ultimately God had taken so much away from Job, but Job’s identity couldn’t be in what seemingly made Him strong and wealthy. His identity had to be in God himself because only then could he be strong even though he was weak.

Our inability to be weak leaders is on us. When I need people to see me as strong and together, it’s an identity issue. The reality is, I need them to see Jesus, and whatever posture I need to take to make that happen is what I should be willing to do. Sometimes, it’s through standing on a stage teaching and other times it’s sitting in a coffee shop crying. Sometimes, I submit to weakness and surrender to His leadership and other times, I have to access it to even open my mouth and get words out. Either way, He gets the glory.

At any point in time Jesus could have taken himself down off the cross. All He had to do was utter the word and yet He stayed there. Weak and surrendered, hurting and hoping. He knew His greatest moment of weakness would one day become His greatest moment of strength.

It was the life He lived, “he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross,” (Philippians 2:8).

We will sometimes be tempted to stand up strong and prove we are competent and capable people, but our challenge is to stand up weak so the strength of the Father shines through. Everybody wants to be strong for Him, but not everyone is willing to be weak with Him. What’s your level of weakness today? Where can you go lower and partner with His strength? How have people seen Jesus shine through your cracks? 


Kristan has worked in ministry for over a decade. Equipped with a master’s degree in educational ministry from Cincinnati Christian Seminary, Kristan is passionate about taking people to a deeper place in their relationship with Christ. Kristan has spent the last year writing and publishing her first book titled after her calling, “Bigger. She and her husband Dave have two daughters, Ella (10) and Addilyn (7). 

More of Kristan Dooley: http://www.kristandooleyblog.com/