God Of Weak Knees

So be made strong even in your weakness by lifting up your tired hands in prayer and worship. And strengthen your weak knees, for as you keep walking forward on God’s paths all your stumbling ways will be divinely healed! Hebrews 12: 12-13 TLB


My earliest memories are recollections filled with fear. From as far back as I can go I have wrestled with fear and the “weak knees” those fears produced.

Yeah, me and my weak knees, have often staggered and tumbled over those things that God was calling us to do.

I would look at where God was calling me to go? Or, something God was calling me to do? And, I would get this sinking feeling that said, “Sit down before you fall down!”

It seems He calls me, not to my strengths, but to my weaknesses…

And I really wish He wouldn’t do that!

lucaxx-freire-451469-unsplashBut to quote my own poem, “… it’s not from without, comes fear and great doubt, look deep in yourself…”

Yeah, I made that “wrong turn” many times in my early years of walking with the LORD.

I was always looking at myself, at my strengths, and my weaknesses; always worrying about what I thought I could (or could not do) instead of “fixing my eyes on Jesus.”

And, of course, therein was where most of my problems originated—looking at myself.

Overcoming our greatest weakness and doubt…

Frankly, this is what testifies to God’s almighty strength and power,

Overcoming THROUGH our weakness!

It’s not about the “us” we like or the one that others admire.

It’s never been about that us—not in the kingdom of God, anyway. God always connects His strength to our weakness, and then joins that, with someone else’s need.

Let me illustrate with a great story I recently read in Mark Batterson’s book, Whisper:

In his book A Mile Wide, Brandon Hatmaker shares the story of his first trip to Ethiopia when he went to work with his friend Steve Fitch, the founder of Eden Projects. Deforestation has devastated parts of Ethiopia as generation after generation has stripped the forests bare, leaving the land barren. Eden is a reforestation effort, with a vision to plant a hundred million trees.

By the time Brandon boarded the plane, he was having second thoughts about the trip. He had a fear of flying, he was leaving his family behind, and he wondered what difference his going would make. Brandon was feeling bad about his attitude, so he closed his eyes and prayed, “God, I’m sorry. I’m trying, but I just don’t get it. I don’t want to be on this plane. I feel like I’m wasting time and money. If this is important to you, will you please overcome my ignorance, doubt, and blindness? Will you connect the dots and show me what I’m missing? Amen.”

No sooner had Brandon opened his eyes than the thirtysomething Ethiopian man sitting next to him asked why he was going to Ethiopia. Brandon could have given a few different answers, ranging from community development to ministry. For some reason he simply said he was going to plant trees.  That’s when the elderly woman sitting next to the Ethiopian man asked him a question in Amharic. When he responded in Amharic, she literally began to wail. In fact, she stood up and starting waving her hands in the air like she really did care.

“What’s going on?” Brandon asked.

“My mother asked me why you were going to Ethiopia,” he said.

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Brandon responded, “What did you tell her?”

He said, “I told her you were going to plant trees.”

And Brandon asked, “What is she saying?”

That’s when Brandon’s seatmate revealed that his mother had been praying for thirty-eight years that God would forgive her people for stripping their land. She also had been praying for Him to send someone to plant trees. Before Brandon knew what was happening, this woman was laying her hands on his head and praying for him through her tears of joy.

Can I remind you of a simple truth? You are the answer to someone else’s prayer. In this instance it was a prayer that this woman had been praying for longer than Brandon had been alive.

Batterson concluded this portion with these thoughts.

Not surprisingly, Brandon had a renewed sense of purpose. He walked away from that experience with this insight: “My gospel was too small.” Maybe it’s not just our gospel that is too small. Maybe it’s also our understanding of God’s voice…

God is big enough.

He’s big enough to speak through doors and dreams and people.

He’s close enough to speak through desires and promptings and pain.

Jesus still uses our small surrendered “loaves and fishes”

God rarely works through our strengths and shining moments.

Usually it’s our mistakes, and weaknesses, and struggles.

And, it has never been just about us.

So be made strong even in your weakness by lifting up your tired hands in prayer and worship. And strengthen your weak knees, for as you keep walking forward on God’s paths all your stumbling ways will be divinely healed!  Hebrews 12: 12-13 TLB