God Can Use Your Weaknesses!


Henri Nouwen was professor of Pastoral Care at Yale University Divinity School when I was a student there three decades ago.  His best known work is titled, The Wounded Healer.  The thesis of this book is this:  Jesus Christ is the true wounded healer.  By His stripes we are healed.  God can use wounded Christians who are in the process of being healed to minister healing to hurting people around them.

Henri Nouwen’s idea about the wounded healer is not very well known among Pentecostals and charismatics.  We often project an image that God can use only the strong.  We act as if God uses only our strengths.  Yes, God does use our strengths, but He is not limited to using only our strengths. 

Because of the false idea that God can only use strong and talented people for His purposes, many Christians choose to remain totally inactive in God’s work.  This is a great loss.

What does the Bible say about this matter?  The apostle Paul is a strong witness in support of the idea that God works through us in spite of our weaknesses.  He talks about his own thorn in his flesh.  Whatever it was, one thing is clear.  God told him that His grace was sufficient for him.  The lesson Paul learned was that God’s strength can be made perfect in our weaknesses.  In other words, God reveals His strength through our weaknesses and accomplishes His purposes.

By weakness, I do not mean constant moral failures.  I am speaking of inabilities and inadequacies all of us experience in life.  It may also mean a situational difficulty or some form of handicap.

Look at the history of God’s people.  Have you considered the unlikely people God has used?  Here is a partial list:  Abraham was too old.  Moses stuttered.  Timothy had stomach problems.  Hosea’s wife was a bad character.  Amos only knew farming.  Thomas was a doubter.  Peter had a fast temper.  The list can go on and on.  The fact is that God used all these people in spite of their issues.

I remember the words of Dean Collin Williams at Yale Divinity School long ago.  He stated that the degrees we were earning were only like the five loaves of bread in the hands of a lad.  They could not feed the hungry crowd, but if we would give them to Jesus, He would bless them, break them, and multiply them to feed the multitude!

Please don’t be discouraged because someone else has more skills and talents than you have.  Give your strengths as well as your weaknesses to God and ask Him to use them for His glory.  He will take them in His hands, break them, bless them, and use them for His purposes.  What matters is your surrender to God.  He will begin with your brokenness and make everything beautiful in His time.

[From the book What Will Your Tombstone Say?]

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