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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Quiet Time: Captain America Wants You

Captain America Wants You

Read: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:10

“The weak understand the value of strength (dramatic pause)…and compassion” – Dr. Abraham Erskine.

My son, Matthew, and I just saw the new action movie, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. The flick tells the origin of Marvel’s first super-hero and the beginnings of his battles against Red Skull, the ruthless head of a rogue German military outfit trying to take over the world. Here’s a link to a terrific movie revewer:

In the movie, the good Dr. Abraham Erskine tells the impuissant Steve Rogers, who will soon become Captain America that he was chosen specifically for his weakness, a scrawny body. But the doctor felt the thing that actually qualified Steve was his particular strength, a selfless character. My mind immediately went to the bible verse that reads “strength is perfected in weakness”.

Later that evening, I pondered that scripture passage as I lay in bed. Flashbacks of my childhood began to play in my mind. I remembered being the youngest, smallest, and least athletic boy in my neighborhood. So, I know what it feels like to be picked last for team sports, as well as, targeted by the bigger boys as an easy mark for a thrashing. Unlike Captain America, I didn’t keep getting up after being knocked down. Of course, I did eventually become older, bigger, and more athletic. The beatings stopped and I got to choose my own team from time to time. Although, I never forgot the feeling of weakness.

The apostle Paul said, that he took his limitations in stride and with good cheer (2 Cor. 12:10). I’ve gotta say that I’m not there yet. I want to be brave, strong, even heroic in the face of danger, but honestly, I hate conflict. And when I feel weak, well, I just feel weak; and, you know what, I don’t think I’m alone. However, since the Holy Spirit directed Paul to tell me that strength is perfected in weakness, I know it’s true and that God will perfect His strength in me, and you too.

We may not know all there is to know about being strong in Christ, but we who’ve experienced weakness certainly understand the benefits of strength…and compassion motivates us to press on. So, let’s press in to Him and press on toward the prize (Philippians 3:14).

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