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Grace in the Gap

Grace in the Gap

Embracing Weakness as a Testament of Faith in Motherhood

Christian Life

Stephanie Delger

Podcast Host

Mom Guilt Podcast

Published On:

“Hey, Mom, I am starting to feel really sick. Is there any way that you could come and watch the kids for me while I lie down?” I was so thankful to have my mother close by. I felt blessed that she was able to come over and watch the kids while I took a much-needed nap. But at the same time, I felt defeated. Asking another person for help felt wrong, even if it was my own mother. I was already annoyed that I was getting sick and my ‘to-do’ list wasn’t going to get accomplished. I felt guilty, I should have been able to handle it. Other moms who don’t have family close by are forced to continue taking care of their kids while they are sick. It seemed like I was somehow cheating.

What started as a head cold quickly turned into the flu. The afternoon childcare quickly turned into an overnight stay at Grandma’s house. I sat down in my abnormally quiet home to catch up on my bible study.

I read 2 Corinthians 12:9, “ ‘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.”

I stopped. Moments like this really make us wonder if God has a sense of humor. Here I was, sick, exhausted, and needing help watching my own children, and God says that I am supposed to boast in my weakness. Yuck. Toughing it out, getting my ‘to-do’ list accomplished, and keeping up with laundry sounds like something to boast about, not needing help from others!

At that moment, I was struck that this wasn’t a coincidence. God coordinated this moment for my good. It wasn’t an accident that I read this verse while sick. What does this verse mean, and how am I supposed to boast in my weakness?

God’s grace is sufficient

The thing I need most in life isn’t physical health. It isn’t the ability to take care of my kids while I am sick. It isn’t being able to drink my morning coffee out of a mug inscribed with “Super Mom.” It’s not even the ability to make a sourdough starter and keep it alive and well. What I need most in life is God’s grace.

I don’t deserve God’s grace. You don’t deserve God’s grace. Grace is a gift, and a gift, by definition, means it cannot be earned. It is freely given. God chooses to love and bestow grace on His people not because of what they have done but simply because He has chosen to do so. I am not more deserving of grace when I am on top of my game, than when I need to reach out and ask others for help. God’s grace isn’t dependent on my actions. His grace is given freely, and it is all I need; it is sufficient.

Our identity and worth need to be grounded in the Lord and what He has done. When I am weak, my identity and standing before the Lord doesn’t change. This is because it isn’t based on something that I have done. And if it isn’t based on my merit and actions, it means that my standing before the Lord is secure - regardless of what I have or haven’t done. What we do matters, but our actions should flow from a heart of worship, not from trying to earn favor with God or to impress Him. God’s grace is sufficient.

My weakness magnifies God’s strength

So often, I try to do things on my own. I want to be strong, to persevere through trials and sickness. I don’t want to let things derail my perfectly planned day. I don’t want to be weak, or even worse, for others to see my weakness! Being weak seems like something to run away from, not something to boast about. Asking for help admits that I don’t have what I need. This goes against our individualistic culture. In our culture, we strive for independence and being able to take care of things ourselves. We are taught to try harder and to do better. To ask others for help is looked down upon. We view self-reliance as a goal to be admired above all others. But this isn’t the gospel.

The gospel, at its core, is a cry for help. We are a sinner who cannot save ourselves. We cannot try harder or do more to get into Heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” We cannot boast about our salvation because it doesn’t come from us. Our weakness, our inability to save ourselves, must be understood. Only then can we cry out to the Lord to save us? Our weakness magnifies God’s strength.

We have the opportunity as moms to magnify Christ in our weaknesses. When we are vulnerable and ask others for help, we are showing them that we have limits. We are finite beings who cannot do all things and be all things. We have limits placed upon us, which sometimes include catching a cold. In these moments, I need to not boast in my strength but rather lay it down at the feet of our Savior. I need to admit that, unlike Him, I need to rest. Unlike God, I need to ask someone else for help. Unlike God, I have limits and need to acknowledge them and live within them.

How do we boast in our weaknesses?

Boasting in our weakness isn’t posting pictures of our overflowing laundry baskets or sinks full of dirty dishes to social media with the caption #BoastingInWeakness. While I appreciate the attempts to be real and seeing moms strive to debunk the myth that we should be able to do it all and be it all, it doesn’t capture the heart of what God is asking us to do.

Boasting in our weakness doesn’t mean that we are prideful when we don’t have our lives all together. It’s the opposite of pride. We shouldn’t be prideful or arrogant in our actions but rather seek to humbly point others to the Lord. We are not promoting laziness or a slothful lifestyle. When we are struggling and need help, we need to ask for it.

When we do this, the Bible tells us that we will have the power of Christ resting upon us. This is something I desire, don’t you? God is working in us and through us in our weaknesses. When we try to do things in our own power, in our own strength, we are on display. Others look at our lives and might say, “I want to be like her.” But when we are weak and let others see that, they will say, “I want what she has.” We have the opportunity to tell others about Jesus, their Lord and Savior. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses.

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