Amy Clemens

Read: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

For when I am weak, then I am strong. (v. 10)

For self-made Americans, having a need is tantamount to being weak—I know it used to be for me. I was proud of my can-do attitude. I smiled, rolled up my sleeves, and carried on no matter what happened.

But the backbone of this great country is not in the self-made man or woman. We forget that pioneers had big multi-generational families, wagon trains, and help raising barns and homes. It wasn’t a weakness to ask for help—it was an insult not to accept it! Where the pioneer spirit built community, our own neurotic way of keeping up appearances as if we are superheroes tears it down.

Jesus, more than any other, had what it took to be self-made. All the power and strength of heaven was at his disposal. But he came wrapped in fragile flesh and experienced the needs and limitations we each experience. He didn’t deliver himself, even from the cross, because he didn’t come to deliver himself. He came to build community—a community of God, a body of Christ where the eye can’t say to the hand, “I have no need of you.” Jesus allowed his weaknesses to make himself vulnerable—and God showed himself strong, just as he will for us. —Amy Clemens

Prayer: Physical strength is not enough, O God, for you have made me just one vulnerable breath away from death. I am needy, and you sustain me with life, food, friends, and help when I acknowledge my need. Thank you for the amazing rest of receiving and giving in community.