2 Corinthians 12:10 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.
I remember a trip to Brazil where we all went to a farm with friends for a few days. It was about 2 hours west of Recife, up in some mountains. These friends and their farm were like an oasis for John and Fabi (our oldest son and his family who were missionaries there for 8 1/2 years) and we were greatly blessed to be there with them. One of the interesting highlights of our time there was a little brown Labrador puppy. There had been seven puppies born but unfortunately the mother only had six well-formed teats for nursing. This little guy was odd man out – the runt of the litter.
By the time we got there, three of the puppies had already gone to new homes. This little puppy was ½ the size of the other three puppies still there. He also bore the scars of being the target of their rough play. Fortunately he was receiving extra milk, food and care to help him grow. He was sweet, playful, and the chosen recipient of our granddaughters’ affection.
If the puppy could think about it, I wonder if he would have thought of himself as a victim – or a survivor/overcomer. He had been dealt a hand in life that put him at a real disadvantage – circumstances to deal with that were totally beyond his control. Our granddaughter Becca considered him a ‘survivor’ (that was her term). He was not going to let his size or ‘misfortune’ hinder him.
While thinking about this puppy’s situation a number of Biblical characters came to mind:
- Gideon – “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” (Judges 6:15)
- Joseph – “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. (Genesis 37:19)
- Moses – Moses said to the LORD, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” … Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:10, 13)
- David – So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
It is so important to remember that we are not victims – no matter what lot in life we are dealt. We are survivors / overcomers because of the God we serve. Where we are weak, we look to the Lord and He makes us strong. Our focus is Jesus. There is nothing He cannot redeem.