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Jan 20

Overcoming Weaknesses

Posted by: Steve Marr

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We all have weaknesses. Some are more serious than others. For each of us the key is how we learn to compensate for these weaknesses to become overcomers through Christ rather than allow our weak points to defeat us.

Paul spoke to this when he wrote, “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9, NIV) This passage demonstrates how Paul, in spite of his incredibly effective ministry, experienced weaknesses which the Lord helped him overcome.


When I was six years old, I was running through the house and put my arm through a glass storm door that severed an artery, nerves and muscles in my right arm. Fortunately my dad was home and had some training in first aid from his navy days.  He was able to temporarily stop the bleeding and the hospital emergency room did their part to save my arm. However, medical technology was different from today and the injury resulted in permanent damage to my right hand. My hand is weaker, I am unable to stretch out my fingers completely, and I have significant loss in function. The positive part is that I didn’t lose my hand or arm, and I’m able to use it do some things in spite of the damage. Over time I’ve learned how to compensate for the situation and accept the limitations.

For example I’ve never been able to use my right hand in typing; I’ve learned to type with one hand. Like Paul, the Lord helped me accept these limitations situation by situation

Major League pitcher John Abbott was an inspiration to many. He pitched a no-hitter approximately 20 years ago. John Abbott was born with only one hand and learned to pitch effectively holding his glove on the stub of his right hand. After delivering the pitch he would move his glove to his left hand in the event he had to field the ball. If he did, he dropped the glove quickly to toss the runner out. This was a more complex process than the average pitcher used. I first became aware of Abbott when he pitched for the University of Michigan. I always found his journey and attitude inspiring.

Some weaknesses may not be as apparent as Abbott’s or mine, but we all have them. They can be anything from a short attention span, problems with follow through, or struggling to meet new people.  The key is to identify your weaknesses, develop a plan to minimize the weaknesses and ask the Lord to help you become an overcomer.

In the same way the Lord did not remove Paul’s thorn in the flesh, he has not healed my right hand completely. However, the Lord has allowed me to overcome. It still bothers me when I go to shake somebody’s hand, especially a large hand, and I fail to grasp the hand correctly. However, I can either retreat from people or move forward. I choose to move forward.

My prayer for you is that regardless of what your weakness is, you would allow the Lord to work in your life and help you become an overcomer also.

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