Let God Turn Your Weaknesses to Strengths and Your Misery to Ministry
By Julie Morris –
In Jeremiah 29:11 God gives us this wonderful but confusing promise: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” The confusion comes because sometimes God’s plans seem to be anything but prosperous!For example, take what happened to my sister. Ten years ago, Linda was in a devastating auto accident. She was in a coma for almost a month, swaying precariously between life and death. When she woke up from the coma, Linda’s mind was sound, but she was unable to walk or talk so she could be easily understood. And she had such a terrible tremor from the brain damage that she could hardly feed herself.
How could this be God’s plan for this precious Christian? Her accident seemed like a disaster that would result in meaningless suffering for the rest of her life. Linda knew that in this fallen world, bad things happen, but she clung to God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 and knew he still had a plan for her life. She was determined to cooperate with him as he worked that plan out. After months in the hospital and rehab, Linda was released to an assisted living facility. She worked hard learning how to maneuver her wheelchair so she could get about on her own and she worked on her speech for hours at a time.
Linda continued to surrender her life to the Lord—looking to him to turn her weaknesses to strengths and her misery to ministry. She never lost her smile, and her smile spoke more eloquently about the Lord than anyone ever could with words. Even though she couldn’t talk as clearly as before, everyone marveled at the joy and contentment she felt most of the time and the positive influence she had on those around her. Linda seldom complained and always had an encouraging word to say. And God used her in mighty ways. Despite her handicaps, he prospered her by giving her life purpose—using her smile to reflect his love to people who needed to know he cares.
Linda went home to be with the Lord a few weeks ago, but she taught us all a valuable lesson that will live on long after her. She demonstrated this awesome truth: God changes our weaknesses to strengths and our misery to ministry when we surrender our lives to him. No pain is wasted in his economy. If we let him, he will use all of our hardships and hurts. He can even use our mistakes. When we turn them over to him and trust him with our lives, these negative things will work out for good. They can help us to grow in our relationship with the Lord, learn how to lean on him and minister to others.
Are you struggling with illness or pain? Are you carrying around past hurts or feeling overwhelmed by present ones? Do like Linda did! Surrender the things that are making you miserable to Jesus. Then praise him, in advance, that he has a plan for your life. He will use your pain, redeem your loses and change your weaknesses to strengths and your misery to ministry.
Julie Morris is the author of 12 books (www.guidedbyhim.com) and a dynamic motivational speaker. She would love to talk to you if you are struggling to surrender your weaknesses to the Lord (firstname.lastname@example.org). ©2010