This Winter I have been putting together puzzles with some friends in the evening. One of these friends is horribly color blind and he is asked often, “Why do you even bother trying to put a puzzle together? You can’t be very good at it.”
My friend’s response is always perfect, he’ll look across the board and put into place several pieces we were desperately hunting for, in the process making us look like we weren’t helping at all. Over the course of an evening if we were to keep track he will win every time in the number of pieces has has placed…usually placing more than the rest of us combined! Yet, this is not by sheer luck here is how my friend described his technique:
As we are obsessing about looking for the colors and shades; he is looking for the shapes of the puzzle pieces and lines. He shared that often times puzzles include similar colors or shades which come from various parts of the puzzle scene to confuse and challenge the traditional puzzler. His ability of not seeing colors filters this distracting “noise” that prevents us from seeing the puzzle pieces that fit. When he finished his explanation in how he approaches solving the puzzle he asked us all simply, “Now, who do you think is truly disadvantaged?”
As I thought about this more it struck me deeply. Too often we are quick to judge someone’s weakness and make assumptions; failing to realize that often the strengths that emerge from those weaknesses are far greater than the perceived strength we feel they are lacking. Let me state that again: Strengths built upon weakness are stronger than strengths built absent of weakness.
Puzzled yet? It does seem odd at first, but hear me out! When we have a strength that is “natural”, we tend to take it for granted; failing to realize its full potential and we leave it undeveloped simply winging it through life. Yet, strength born from weakness is fought for, it was never given, it was developed and honed. We can’t realize what we have till we lose it or never have it to begin with.
Let us not be deceived into thinking that weakness is to be avoided, in actuality we should be choosing to embrace the weakness and discover the hidden strength which emerges. At a recent Men’s Encounter I had one of the strongest revelations yet from the Lord concerning an area of my own personal weakness.
This weakness was a sense that I needed and was only completed by human connection with someone else. This was a clear weakness in my life because I had struggled with periods of depression that could be directly linked to a lack of strong human connection and intimacy. What God revealed to me was that this weakness was real…it wasn’t in my imagination, but the way I sought to alleviate that weakness was inadequate. I realized in a powerful way that my desire and need for connection would ONLY be fulfilled by the Lord and the presence of his spirit in my life. Once, I accepted this an overflowing has sprung forth out of my life.
What was once a weakness of feeling like I could not live without connection became a strength whereby I could connect and build meaningful life with anyone I met; not to fill an emptiness within myself, but to fill from an abundance provided by the Lord in helping someone else. This process of leaning into the weakness and trusting the Lord transformed what was a weakness into a powerful strength; simply, it has been life filling!
We each have our weaknesses, life does not present them without a reason and purpose. We have the choice to accept them as weaknesses and do nothing about them or lean into them and discover the strength which emerges. Just remember: Strengths built upon weakness are stronger than strengths built absent of weakness.
Have a wonderful start to the new, frigidly cold week! Stay warm and stay safe! Take care friends and as always thank you for reading and sharing in this blogging journey!
Anthony, as always, you are amazing. Keep up the good work my friend.