Writing in community again today with Kate Motaung and the flash-writing mob at Five Minute Friday, where today the free-write prompt word is…



Sometimes you’re utterly weak.

Sometimes you get down so low you don’t think you can go any lower.

Sometimes the circumstances really do overwhelm.

Sometimes you don’t even know what to do or say, let alone have the strength of character to stand up and say or do it.

Sometimes God really does give you more than you can handle.

Sometimes you are not enough.


At least those things are all true of me.

But here’s the dynamite thing:

That’s when I have accomplished the most astounding things in my life—that’s when I’ve stood tall and strong (and I’m not even tall) and spoken courage (and I’m not courageous), that’s when I’ve met the challenge without a flinch (when just a moment before I was knee-knocking trembling). That’s when I have amazed myself as well as other people, doing what I couldn’t do.

“How can that be?” you say.

Because then it wasn’t really me doing the doing. Because “When I am weak, then I am strong,” because “[God’s] power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9-10). Because it was at those times when I found myself slamming up against such impossibility, that I not only knew I couldn’t do what was needed, but I also recognized Who could, and my heart strained toward Him, crying, “Help!” Because (unfortunately) it usually takes times like these to goad me to the end of myself, to the end of my own slippery, fraying rope, and down onto my knees, to pray my wisest sort of prayer: “God, I can’t do this! You’ll have to do it in me, through me.”

For His power is made perfect in weakness.

If I were pressed to name a “life verse,” I think this would be it. It has certainly been the theme of my life that when I came to the end of all my meager strength and flailing, failing efforts, or else knew from the start that I was not enough for the challenge before me, that’s when I did far beyond what I could do. For that was when I most fervently and completely turned to God and prayed, and looked to Him to be my strength and wisdom and all the rest, and let him act.

And that’s when He most remarkably did.

Because His “power is made perfect in weakness.”

Same tree as in the photo above. (The one standing tallest and strongest.)


15 thoughts on “When You’re Truly NOT Enough

  1. This was an amazing post. You are not alone, all feel we can’t go on, we don’t have anymore to give and want the weakness to wash over us and just give up…and then all of us find a little more and our battle cry is heard. We are strength, we have courage. Thank you for this amazing share.

    1. I am not alone, Sabrina, that I certainly do know. He is with me, always, and He is the strength that enables, empowers, and holds me by (and in) His hand. That I most certainly know as well. I know it from having lived my life at one time thinking that I was the strength, that it always depended on me to find one more ounce of power inside me somewhere, and then I could meet any challenge and fix any circumstance. Then He did me a singular favor by letting me get into overwhelming circumstances that I could no way fix. That was the turning point of my life when I found real strength, for impossible battles!
      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, Sabrina.

  2. This is a beautiful post, Sylvia. I think it’s true that it’s those moments when we know we don’t have what it takes and we can’t do it in our own strength that we make space for God to step in and show his power. It’s always reassuring to remember that his strength can work through our weakness.

  3. Yep, Lesley. So true. My only trouble comes when I forget that I *never* have what it takes like He does, forget about how much I need to draw on His power and guidance in every circumstance every day. That’s when I jump in and do, in my own “strength” and “wisdom”—and am most likely to get it all wrong. When I reach the point where I depend on Him every moment, that’s when I’ll be really strong and powerful! (But it still won’t be me, will it?)

  4. Amen and amen. I am sharing this one. and printing it out to keep.

    1. That delights my heart, Laurie. It’s a bit rough, being a “free-write,” but I believe it is one of the most important messages of my life to share with others. Blessings on your weekend, friend!

  5. This is beautiful and speaks to my heart so deeply in this season. I seem to always accomplish so much more in life when I lay myself down and function only in His strength. I’m so glad for His grace!

  6. Beautiful post. His power is most definitely made perfect in our weakness. Glad to be your FMF neighbor today!

    1. And I to be your FMF neighbor, Nichole. God bless your weekend. (I almost wrote weakend!)

    1. I see from your FMF post this week that you really “get” this, Mary. It’s really the key to life in Him, isn’t it?

  7. I am reminded of the children’s chorus, I am weak but He is strong. So much of what we attempt to accomplish – – could not be done without Him. He is our direction, our comforter and helper – always.

    1. Children’s choruses and children’s words can hold such large wisdom, can’t they, Hazel? Amen, He is “our direction, our comforter, and helper, always”—“the way, the truth, and the life.”

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