Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Strength through Weakness

I recently heard about a ten-year-old boy who decided to study Judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident. So he took lessons from an old Japanese Judo master and he was doing pretty well. But after three months of training, the master had only taught him one move and it was the same move. It was complicated and complex.

Finally the young boy said, “Sensei, should I be learning more moves?” And the teacher replied, “This is the only move you will ever need to know.” The boy didn’t quite understand, but he trusted and believed the teacher so he dutifully kept on training and became better and better. Several months later the Sensei took his young student with only one arm to a Judo tournament. Amazingly, the boy won his first two matches. The third match proved to be a bit more difficult, but after some time the opponent became impatient and charged him. It was then that the boy used his one move….and he won the match!

Amazed by his success, the boy reached the finals. Now the opponent was bigger, stronger and more experienced than any of the others with whom he had competed. For awhile the boy appeared to be completely overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time out, and was about to stop the match when the Sensei intervened and said, “No, let him continue.” The match was resumed. Then the opponent, big, strong and tough made a critical mistake. He dropped his guard and instantly the boy used his one and only move and pinned him. He won the match and the tournament. He was the new champion.

On the way home, the boy and the Sensei reviewed every move and every match. Finally, the boy asked, “Teacher, how did I win the tournament with only one arm and one move?” “You won for two reasons,” the Sensei said. “First, the one move that I taught you is the most difficult throw in all of Judo and you have mastered it. The second reason is there is only one defense against that move, and that’s for your opponent to grab your left arm.”

You see the boy’s weakness was his strength. The Bible reminds us, “God gives power to the faint and weary, and to them who have no might, God increases strength and makes it abound.” (Isaiah 40:29-30)

Whatever struggle or weakness you are dealing with today, remember that you and God are more than capable of facing it together. Receive the strength of the Lord in your life, now and always.

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