2 Corinthians 12:9-12: 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
A Smile Is Like The Sunshine 267
Two balloons, needle or long pushpins, clear packing tape, and lotion or petroleum jelly.
Blow up both balloons. On one balloon apply a strip of the clear packing tape. Dip your needle in petroleum jelly.
Each one of us has weaknesses. Some people feel defeated by their personal weaknesses. They even let their weakness bring them to a point of hopelessness and despair. Some people attempt to hide, ignore, or compensate for their shortcomings because of pain and embarrassment. But, as the Lord told Moroni, recognizing and acknowledging a weakness is a necessary part of overcoming it: “Because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong” (Ether 12:37).
- What are some weaknesses you have?
Hold up the balloon and pin. Say “Let’s pretend this balloon represents us and the pin represents all the things that make us feel weak with worry, fear, or sadness.”
- What do you think happens to us when we let our weaknesses overcome us?
Demonstrate by popping the balloon and say “this is an example of what happens to us when we let our weaknesses overcome us. It destroys us!”
- How can we stay strong when we feel weak?
- Who can we always rely on for strength?
Hold up the other balloon and pin. Say “Let’s pretend this balloon represents us when we give our weakness to Jesus and the pin represents all the things that make us feel weak with worry, fear, or sadness.”
- What do you think happens when we give our weaknesses to Jesus?
Demonstrate by pressing the needle through the side of the balloon where the tape is placed (it shouldn’t pop) and say “this is an example of what happens when we overcome our weaknesses through Christ. He keeps us strong. He holds us together. Our weaknesses are no longer able to destroy us.”
Christ doesn’t always take away our weaknesses. Rather, He uses our weaknesses to make us strong. We see this throughout scripture. For example, when the Lord came to Enoch and commanded him to go out and preach the gospel. “And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant? And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.” (Moses 6:31-32)
Another example is The Apostle Paul. He struggled throughout his life with “a thorn in the flesh,” which he said was “the messenger of Satan to afflict me” and served to humble him “lest [he] should be exalted above measure” (2 Cor. 12:7).
Now, we are never told what exactly this “thorn in the flesh” is. However, three times Paul asked the Lord to take away his weakness, and three times the Lord declined to do so. The Lord then explained that His grace was sufficient for Paul and that, in fact, His strength was actually “made perfect in weakness.”
It’s important to remember that we all have weaknesses. However, Christ uses our weaknesses to help humble us and help bring out our strengths. For as many weaknesses as we have, we have twice as many strengths.
- What are some strengths you have?
Take a moment to think about these strengths. Were you born with all these strengths? Or were some of these strengths once weaknesses of yours? We must realize that Christ empowers us through our weaknesses to build our strengths.
We will close with a quote by Elder Caussé, who said “God is not the God of superheroes! There is no such thing as someone without weakness. We all have them. Failing to recognize our limitations will block our progression. On the other hand, accepting them humbly lays the foundation for eternal progression.”