Music and the Spoken Word

“For When I Am Weak, Then Am I Strong”

The Bible records that the Apostle Paul had what he called “a thorn in the flesh”—a trial or difficulty that helped to keep him humble and steadfast. He asked the Lord three times to take it from him, but it remained. Yet Paul came to see divine purpose in his infirmities and hardships, declaring with great wisdom, “For when I am weak, then am I strong.”

At times, for each of us, the path of life seems to be all uphill, filled with obstacles and hazards. But these struggles are not meant to stop us or discourage us. They are meant to change us. If we face our challenges with all of the courage, patience, and faith we have—undoubtedly developing a great deal more in the process—we’ll reach the top of that hill and make an important discovery: In the journey of life, the destination is not as important as what we become along the way.

From that elevated perspective, we may notice that our hardships were the very things we needed to make us better and stronger. Becoming our best self often happens because of—rather than in spite of—unfavorable circumstances. Our greatest trials can become our greatest teachers.

It was this truth that inspired an unknown author to pen these words:

I asked God for strength that I might achieve.

I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health that I might do greater things.

I was given infirmity that I might do better things.

I asked for riches that I might be happy.

I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.

I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.

I was given life that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for but everything I needed.

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am … most richly blessed.

- Lloyd D. Newell