If there is anything I learned on the Pilgrimage it is the joy of weakness. It is essential to our spiritual growth to grasp our utter weakness. I looked over my photos from the Pilgrimage and this one of me laying down my burden at the foot of the Iron cross with the Priest (spiritual guide) looking on before we began our official start, best displays the wonder of my weakness inviting God’s strength. The devotion I read that day stated: “God, getting closer to man, weakens him.” That seems to be a strange concept to understand from a loving God. The scripture the devotion was referring to was the Rich Young Ruler who came to ask Jesus how he could inherit eternal life (Mark10:17-27). He came to Jesus in search of greater strength. Jesus wanted him to gain what he was seeking. The way Jesus told him to find strength was by willingly becoming totally weak.
Before I started my pilgrimage, I had done what Jesus told the Rich Young Ruler to do. I did not reluctantly sell all that I had; it was more of a necessity and something I had been attempting to do for several years. Therefore, the experience was much gentler with me and I felt Jesus’ help in to leaving behind the collections I had accumulated for the past thirty years. Suddenly, all the vain things that charmed me most seemed like burdens to cast off, rather than treasures to maintain. All the leaving behind and casting off that I did before my pilgrimage weakened me in the physical and mental effort it required to give away what I had accumulated. I was completely exhausted from the process of purging my life from things.
Yet it was my weakness, my utter inability to manage my life on my own, that set the tone for a pilgrimage filled with joy. God did not create me to get along by myself. It is His will that I should recognize that I am growing increasingly weaker rather than stronger the closer I get to Him. Until I recognize my weakness, it is impossible for me to live in His might. I am cut off from the power of God as long as I believe that I can do it myself! It was a joy to recognize the truth that has always been a part of my life—I am weak and only He is strong!
Facing their weakness is what caused Adam and Eve to head for the woods. They found themselves weak apart from God and could not handle being seen by Him. They didn’t recognize that their unwillingness to knowingly stand naked in front of Him is what caused their demise. Rather than face their weakened state, they found comfort in hiding and covering up weakness.
I am weak. You are weak too. The sooner we get over our weakness the closer we will grow to God and the stronger we will become.