“He was sheer weakness and humiliation when he was killed on the cross, but oh, he’s alive now—in the mighty power of God! – (2 Corinthians 13:3 MSG)
From the age of five, James was raised by his maternal grandparents on their farm in Jackson, Michigan – they had moved from Mississippi. James found the transition to living with his grandparents in Michigan traumatic and developed a stutter so severe that he refused to speak. “I was a stutterer. I couldn’t talk. So, my first year of school was my first mute year, and then those mute years continued until I got to high school.”
James said that his stuttering created humiliation: “In Sunday school, I’d try to read my lessons and the children behind me were falling on the floor with laughter…my stuttering was so bad that I gave up trying to speak properly.”
James credits his high school English teacher, Donald Crouch, who discovered he had a gift for writing poetry, with helping him embrace this weakness. “‘Jim, this is a good poem. In fact, it is so good I don’t think you wrote it. I think you plagiarized it. If you want to prove you wrote it, you must stand in front of the class and recite it by memory.’ Which I did. As they were my own words, I got through it.”
James said his teacher got him talking and reading poetry, which sparked an interest in acting. By embracing the weakness, it eventually became a strength.
Known today as James Earl Jones, this man worked hard and eventually became a Broadway, television and movie star, and is well-known for his voice as Darth Vader in Star Wars. Jones has spoken some of the most memorable lines in the history of American film. He is known for his voice. But he was once afflicted with a severe stutter.
Examples of weakness are impatience, restlessness, a temper, greed, looking at pornography, selfishness and others. Jesus was weak when He died on the cross on Good Friday. He had been beaten, broken down, had his face spit on, whipped – pieces of skin hung from his back, verbally abused, naked and humiliated. And He was able to overcome all of this through the resurrection!
And Jesus provides a way through Him to overcome our weaknesses by recognizing, admitting and then embracing them.
It involves work (see Colossians 3:23), focus (see Hebrews 12:2) and opportunity (see Eph. 5:16).
Have you asked Jesus to help you embrace a weakness and work to overcome it? Is there anything specific that you need to bring to the Lord?
“So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
If Christ sets you free – you can now try to forget your past mistakes and not focus on them. They are on the ocean floor (see Micah 7:19).
You can live free through Jesus Christ. You can embrace weaknesses and ask God for strength!