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Little boys often go crying to their mamas with the slightest scratch as an excuse to receive a little comfort. As they get older, though, sniveling to mommy can be a social catastrophe.
I must have been eighteen, when one day we were playing touch football in last-period PE class. I guess the teacher was in the lounge and I had spied my mom waiting in the car in the parking area next to the field, waiting to pick me up after school.
One particular play, I ran out for a pass and our scatter-armed quarterback threw the ball over my head. I leaped as high as I could to no avail but I came down at an awkward angle and took all my body weight on my knee, which bent in the wrong direction! A hyperextension.
I lay for awhile squirming in agony. I don’t know when I’d ever done anything that hurt so much. In my pain, though, I noticed that mama had gotten out of the car and was standing, looking in my direction with a worried look on her face.
“Help me up.” When my buddies objected, my response stilled them. “My mama’s over there.”
Though I hurt like crazy, the embarrassment of having my mama come and try to comfort me would have pained me ten times more. You gotta be a man. Hey, hey, hey!
What is in our make-up that makes us want to show others that we can make it without anyone else?
We’re even like that with God.
But you know what? After all the huff, bragging, and self-confidence, sometime, somewhere, everyone of us finds ourselves whimpering, crying out, desperately needing comfort.
There was once a real man’s man. This guy, wow! Shipwrecked three times. Pitched in jail more than once. Beaten by angry mobs. He just kept popping back up, infinitely tougher than Rocky and the Terminator put together (because he was real and they were just someone’s imagination).
Paul ran up against something too big for him, though. He didn’t tell us what it was but he did tell about the combat—a combat he lost by the way. Well, actually he won.
“Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
‘My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.’
“Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” (2 Cor. 12:7-10 The Message)
The tough old fellow yelped out three times crying for help. God had to comfort Him and he wasn’t ashamed of it. As a matter of fact, he later said that with the comfort he received himself in these kind of situations, he was better able to comfort others who were going through the same thing. (2 Cor. 1:3-7)
Don’t be afraid to show your weakness. Ask for help from God and from His people.
And those other man things? Not to worry ladies. Those proud teenagers become whimpering old men. We get over our independent pride, at least as far as you’re concerned. I sometimes try to arouse pity in my wife by reciting my little physical scratches—especially when she says it’s time to mow the yard.
“…allowing us to fail is not a punishment from God, but a part of God’s process for shaping who we are … those men and women who would seize every divine moment must be willing to embrace failure as a part of life.” Erwin McManus
New article on our sister website: www.dieuagit.com “You Make Me Sick!”