March 4th 2010

Strengthened Through Weakness

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.”

Hebrews 4:15 (NIV) 

A friend in North Yorkshire asked me to look after her house and dog while she travelled. What she didn’t tell me about until I arrived were the three lambs in her paddock. They would also be my responsibility. Two were healthy and sturdy, but one, named Annie, was only half the size of the others. She walked with a limp and had several bald patches and an ear infection. She was just a sad little figure, and it seemed unlikely she would survive the coming winter. I administered medicine provided by a nearby vet, protected her from bullying at mealtimes by the other two lambs and gave her extra attention the healthy lambs didn’t need. As a result we became friends! When I called her at mealtimes she would run across to me and put her head up to be tickled before going off to eat. Her two healthy sisters always backed away from me.

 Sometimes our weaknesses and frailties frustrate us. Jesus understands and sympathises. He knows only too well what it’s like being human in a fallen world. Yet our infirmities, both spiritual and physical, can actually bring us closer to God, as Annie’s created a relationship between the lamb and myself. Paul delighted in weaknesses because the Lord had told him, “my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). As we acknowledge to God our inability to cope, even crying out to him at times, in his compassion he will come close, both to comfort and help us. 

And as for Annie? You’ll be glad to hear that she was gradually nursed back to health and even became a mother, though with difficulty because of her small size. It’s wonderful what patient love can achieve. 


Father, we can’t cope with everything that life throws at us, or even with our own often selfish natures. Thank you for your understanding and your promises of help when we acknowledge our weaknesses to you.


Study by Doug Bass

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