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WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS AND CONTENT FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY
Power in Our Weakness
Lessons Learned From Captain America
By Amber Johnson
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
– 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)
“Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
– Proverbs 11:2 (NLT)
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
– Matthew 5:8 (NIV).
Have you ever felt overlooked or left behind?
I’m sure many of us can relate to feeling left out at some point in our lives. Maybe it was because of your age, height, appearance, your intelligence, abilities, or lack thereof. Regardless, it’s never a good feeling.
What I appreciate most about Captain America’s backstory is that he didn’t start out with a super talent or physical capability that set him apart from the crowd. Rather, he simply had a big heart.
While the world was focused on drafting the most physically fit men during World War II, Steve Rogers (Captain America) was overlooked. Because of his numerous health issues and small stature, he didn’t meet the standard as the ideal man to serve in the military. He was considered weak and too much of a liability.
To the world, Steve’s weaknesses seemed to outweigh his strengths. But Dr. Abraham Erksine recognized Steve’s humility, determination, ingenuity, and selfless heart as highly valuable. It was through Steve’s weaknesses and setbacks in life that he developed these strong-character qualities.
With Dr. Erksine’s Super Soldier Serum, Captain America’s self-less qualities were amplified for the greater good. He was given super-human strength and speed which enabled him to fight, serve, and protect those in need.
Because of Steve’s heart posture, he was the perfect person to receive the serum. He was able to use his gifts in a way that no one else could because he had experienced things others hadn’t. His weaknesses and trials had made him powerful.
Through Captain America’s backstory, I’m reminded that God doesn’t reduce us down to one or two qualities. He sees the full package, and He can use it all beautifully.
Weaknesses and trials remind us that we’re only human. They help us to see what, or Who, we are depending on. It’s an opportunity to recognize what’s within our own hearts.
Relying on our own strengths and abilities only makes us more prideful, not more powerful.
We have to rely on the greater power of our God for true strength, hope, and courage. Even though our trials and weaknesses are challenging, they are meant to be purifying.
It is through our weaknesses that we affirm the strength and power of our mighty God.
David’s story from the Bible is a perfect example of this. As Samuel came to anoint the next King of Israel, he thought Eliab, Jesse’s eldest son, was the clear choice as King. I’m assuming it was Eliab’s physical strength or his stature that set him apart, but God had other plans.
“But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart’”
– 1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT)
As Samuel went from son to son, none of the seven sons presented to him was the right choice according to the Lord. Samuel had to even ask Jesse if someone was missing! Jesse had overlooked his youngest son thinking he wasn’t the one the Lord wanted to anoint. But Samuel and Jesse were both wrong in their assumptions.
God chose the sheepherder, the youngest of eight sons to be the anointed future King of Israel. The one who was instructed to bring food to his brothers on the battlefield was the one who slayed the giant that everyone else was afraid of. And it wasn’t because of David’s super strength and physical prowess, but rather it was because he relied on the Lord for his strength (1 Samuel 17).
David’s size and birth order in the family didn’t matter. God used him because of his heart posture and his trust in the Lord.
Are we turning over our full selves to the Lord- weaknesses and all?
In order to be purified and sanctified, we will have trials and hardships in this life. We will have weaknesses that set us apart from the crowd, and we may not understand how God is using them.
May we be encouraged knowing that our trials and weaknesses are an opportunity for us to be purified, sanctified, and grow into becoming more like Christ.
Jesus is where we find real and lasting strength.