I’m 29, so I’m not exactly old, but I’m discovering that the older I get the more fragile I’m become. The certainty that I felt when I was younger is disappearing. Clear-cut black and white is being eaten up by the ever growing grey. Confidence in my own abilities is lessening. I’m becoming a lot more emotional, sensitive, brought down easier. It could have to do with the life I now lead; transition, uncertainty, strangers in a strange land, etc. Or… it could just be part of growing up; a gift from God that should be embraced.
Now, our culture says exactly the opposite; fragile/weak bad, strength good. But I believe our culture has it wrong. The fragility that I’m experiencing is God’s gift to me. When we are younger we believe we are invincible, strong, competent, the opposite of fragile. Fragility is what happens when we begin coming to terms with the actual reality. Getting used to the newly discovered fact that we’re not really all that strong after all. We discover that we can’t do everything; that we get tired; that we do get aches, pains, and things not going our way.
So how is fragility a gift from God? Well I’ll let the apostle Paul answer that for me, “At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it…and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer… I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” (2 Cor 12:8-10 MSG).
It might just be that fragility is God’s way of saying trust me, let me do the heavy lifting, let me be your strength. To that, I say yes please.
*This was published also published on pg2 of the February Advocate. A Western Australian publication distributed monthly amongst the Baptist Churches of WA.