By Stephen Leonard
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me; for the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Paul Anderson was at his weakest. He had twice failed to lift the weight for an Olympic Gold Medal. His final try was coming up. He had some minutes to consider his potential failure. Weak from a virus and sporting a high fever, he wasn’t in his strongest shape. Paul turned to the LORD to acknowledge his weakness and, at the same time, acknowledge the great strength of the LORD.
‘Help me get this weight overhead, LORD, and my life is yours to the very end. I will serve you with all you have given me.’ And Jesus did exactly that. He gave him His strength. Paul lifted the weight necessary to secure the Gold Medal, and the rest is history.
He served the LORD in starting a home for troubled boys, along with his young wife, Glenda, as co-founder. This Home was made possible by the strength of the LORD. And it continues to this day to serve young men, 29 years after Paul’s graduation into the LORD’s presence in heaven. The Paul Anderson Youth Home continues to help troubled boys find the One whose strength can transform their lives today and beyond.
The biblical principle is this: the LORD’s strength is ‘made perfect’ in your weakness. In other words, the LORD, in His strength, accomplishes what your weakness cannot. The LORD’s strength comes through to perform what you could not in your own strength, or shall we rather say, your weakness.
This ministry has survived and prospered only by God’s grace and the strength the LORD has shown in keeping it in existence. Time and again, the LORD has provided what we didn’t think was even possible in keeping the PAYH doing exactly what God created her to do.
When Paul Anderson was thinking about his 3rd and final lift, he acknowledged his weakness to the LORD in asking Him to use His strength to get the weight overhead. He pledged his all in service to his LORD for the rest of his days. This was no flippant prayer! He meant it, and he showed it by keeping his word.
To enact the biblical principle of your power made perfect in your weakness, you need to confess all your weaknesses while calling on the LORD to display His power in its place. There needs to be a complete acknowledgment and genuine confession of those weaknesses, holding nothing back, with equally a faith expression of the LORD’s great and necessary strength to accomplish the task at hand.
Your utter weakness is contrasted with His almighty power. This is not only the actual truth of the matter, but it is the expression of faith from you in performing His will, which causes God to act to fulfill it.
Paul Anderson is but an example of what you must do in your own corner of the world. The LORD’s strength can be displayed in your weakness in every area of your life. ‘I am weak, but you are strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong.’ Confess your weakness and call out for His strength to do what none of us can ever do on our own.” Paul’s testimony was, “If I, the strongest man in the world, cannot get through a day without Jesus Christ, how can you?”