Realizing the Perks in Weakness

The word doesn’t fit well within our culture.  Most of us associate weakness with frailty and lacking of strength, which then propels our thoughts towards imperfection and a sense of failure. But wait. Did you know that your greatest personality strength, taken to an extreme, becomes a weakness? For example, a detailed and precise personality, taken to an extreme, becomes a control freak. And yet, there is actually sparkle to claim inside our weaknesses.

A common question often catches people off-guard, and yet it can swiftly determine whether you are an asset or liability to a prospective employer: What’s your greatest weakness?

The best answer lies in identifying your weakness while recovering it as strength.  The same holds true when we’re faced with unforeseen health challenges.  When my best friend received a cancer diagnosis she wrestled with acceptance, and then an attitude shift gave her incredible strength during incredible weakness. There was no turning cancer off. There was nowhere to run. There was nowhere to hide. She had to face it, head-on. She surrendered it all to God and her mantra became: “I can’t always choose what I go through, but I can always choose how I go through it.”

You can bet on it. Sooner or later, regardless of any strength you possess, you will be faced with unforeseen circumstances that reveal weakness. Therein, comes the blessing of realizing weakness actually has its perks, too. Perks that get too easily dismissed in the busyness of life. Perks that help sustain us during life’s greatest storms. Perks that let light shine though … even when it appears there is nothing but darkness.

As I prepare my team to deliver Christmas stockings to children and adults undergoing cancer treatment, I am mindful of what we have learned in previous years. We don’t always know what to say, and for some, it may deter them from being there at all. But wait. Music is love, and oftentimes, that’s all the patients need to hear. Realizing the perks of our own weakness is oftentimes our greatest strength. Even if we threw all our strengths together, we could not turn cancer off. It wouldn’t make any difference if we tried to help a loved one hide or run away from cancer. But wait. We can take on the mantra of my friend. We can make a difference in how they go through it.

We can share the perks found in our own weakness: Helplessness can be transformed into helpfulness. God has made beautiful things out of dust. Hugs are medicine. Pain is real … so is hope. Good or bad, nothing is ever wasted. Gems are found in the rough. Boomerang blessings come to those who give. Be still, just be still. No matter how dark it seems, huge outcomes are possible every day.

We don’t have to know what to say, what to do – we just have to be willing to be there, in the midst of the storm. I have no doubt; you will find some sparkle in there, too.  What are the perks in your greatest weakness? Share some gems.

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