Suffering, beauty, hope, weakness, weaknesses, disappointment, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Produces: Christ Uses Our Disappointments and Creates Beauty

Disappointments and ugliness we want to be washed away, are often opportunities God uses to create beauty. Our suffering produces a steadfast hope.

…We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character and character produces hope.

Romans 5:3-4, ESV

Disappointments and ugliness we want to be washed away, are often opportunities God uses to create beauty. Our suffering produces a steadfast hope. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #beauty #disappointment #hope #suffering #weakness #weaknesses

Unruly Ground

There has been an unruly area of ground in my backyard. A tree had fallen a few years ago during an ice storm, causing me all kinds of anxiety. And another smaller tree was leaning over ready to topple at any minute.

I had a college student cut up as much as his small chain saw could handle. But, he had to leave behind the fallen trunk of the tree. Every time I cut our grass, I circle the tree and its fallen stump. I mutter and grimace about the day I finally have my nice yard back.

Need for Peace

This past year, I bought some seed to plant. They were wildflowers- pollinators. The kind I love because they encourage bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

In the early morning, I love sitting outside with my coffee and the scriptures to read, think, and pray. I knew these flowers would be just what my yard needed to encourage all of this. A quiet space of restoration and peace.

Need to Dream

I wanted to plant my seeds, but I tend to get overwhelmed when an area is too big. My friend Lisa has been gardening for a long time, so I asked for her input on my yard. I needed some help dreaming. Where did my seed need to go? How could I make it the place I needed to send my thoughts toward God.

I thought I knew the spot, but I was very wrong. Lisa headed for the stump. The one I had brooded and whined over. The one I knew had to go. “Look,” she said, “This is perfect. The stump frames a semi-circle.”

Rich Fertile Ground

She was right, of course. Where the tree had fallen, leaves had covered and nurtured the soil. The ground was soft, easy to dig, and rich. Much richer than the red clay everywhere else. 

However, it still was not an easy spot to work in. There were lots of roots and it needed conditioning. But the very piece of wood I wanted out, was what gave this bed its structure. It grounded the space.

Mind on Truth

I too often see this for myself. The very disappointment, characteristic, or person I want to go, is the very opportunity Christ is using to develop, to sanctify, and to bring beauty from ashes.

I love how God used my friend to point me to the very stump I was despairing, to bring beauty to an area I desperately wanted. I see the body of Christ do this often in my life. They point me to what is true, what is real, what is possible. Christ is showing up in the very areas I want to be removed. He is enough so I do not have to be. I fool myself into thinking I can be. But, even on my best days, I am in need of the One who prepares a way and makes the paths straight.

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10, ESV
Disappointments, characteristics, and ugliness we want wiped clean, are the very opportunities Christ uses to develop, sanctify, and create beauty. Click To Tweet

His Ways are not Mine

What force in your life are you looking at with disdain? What area of your life do you wish would go away and fly right? Could this be the very place Christ is producing rich soil in you? Look to Him who goes before us. Ask for His help and His wisdom.

Disappointments and ugliness we want to be washed away, are often opportunities God uses to create beauty. Our suffering produces a steadfast hope. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #beauty #disappointment #hope #suffering #weakness #weaknesses

unsplash-logoJacalyn Beales

Aware: Knowing Our Strengths and Weaknesses

Often, the attribute we consider a strength can also be our weakness. Likewise, the things we see as weakness in ourselves may just in fact be our strength.

Watching my children grow and develop into their own selves is an incredibly rewarding experience. Of course, it’s also maddening and terrifying. Even though I see so much strength in them, I know they will also struggle with their weaknesses as they experience in life.

My specific prayer for my oldest son, and the meaning behind his name, is that he would not only be strong but also bring strength to others. I see this being developed in him, and it’s beautiful. He is incredibly compassionate and has a tender heart with a desire to care for others who are hurting. Unfortunately, he also gets his feelings hurt easily. I don’t want him to hide from others, seeking protection. But it’s his compassion that makes him sensitive. It’s his strength and his weakness. He also has a desire for fairness and justice. Unfortunately, he can be lazy and selfish, only concerning himself with his own justice. Life is rarely fair, and I don’t want him to only do the minimum required just so he is not taken advantage of, but it’s recognizing the desire for justice in himself that will spur him on to speak up for others. It’s his strength and his weakness.

For my younger son, I pray that he will be loyal and a trustworthy man whose word is true and dependable. He is a hard worker and already a huge help when working on projects around the house. Unfortunately, he finds it difficult to communicate which results in vast amounts of frustration. I don’t want him to feel inadequate because he is unable to use words. His ability to express himself with his actions and creativity is amazing. It’s his strength and his weakness.

I pray for my daughter to be a bright light to others, to bring joy to those who need to be uplifted. She’s bright alright, bright like a fireball! I have lots of praying to do…

The attribute we consider a strength can also be our weakness. Click To Tweet

 Strengths and Weaknesses…

We were each created in a specific way, designed for a purpose. As my friend Cheryl said in her guest post, “I can never be you, and you can never be me.” Each of us are given our unique gifts, and quirks. We each have valuable gifts and strengths to share with each other. This is how we function best in relationships, the church, and society.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6, ESV

This does not, however, mean that we are not to weed out certain areas in our lives. With each of those strengths, comes a weakness which we are prone to. There are parts of us that need to be challenged, weaknesses that need to be strengthened. I believe this is the ploy of our soul’s enemy. He is a deceiver, and perverter of the good our Creator has made. The enemy cannot create things of his own, so he twists what the Lord has made.

To begin the process of strengthening our weaknesses, we must acknowledge them.

Our weaknesses can be related to our strengths. Perhaps your strength is…

organizing… but get irritated when things don’t go as planned.

flexibility… but struggle to complete a task.

being driven… but become obsessive.

serving others… but get taken advantage of.

dreaming… but don’t complete a project.

having endurance… but collapse under the strain.

responsibility… but don’t give out of abundance.

trustworthiness… but don’t trust others.

determination… but don’t know when to ask for help.

diligence… but don’t take risks.

compassion… but get your feelings hurt.

communicating… but say too much and hurt others.

Once we have identified our strengths, or talents, that the Lord has given us, we can be aware of how the enemy will try to twist it in order to make us less effective. Then, we repent of it, and tell Satan to “be gone“!

Your turn…

Just like we each have different strengths, we each have our own weaknesses. I challenge you to recognize and be aware of that weakness, and allow our Creator to use it. The Lord will use it for His glory. He will use you in mighty ways if you will allow Him.

What are your strengths, and what are your weaknesses?


Meiying Ng