Often when men gather for “wildman” saturdays the conversation will often turn to the struggle men have with feeling inferior “spiritually”, especially to our wives. I suppose this reflects part of our competitive nature. That is why it is good for men to process their feelings about spirituality with other men, since most men have the same struggles. We can help affirmed in each other healthy expressions of the spiritual life, which is obviously different from our wives. But because women seem to be able to express themselves more confidently spiritual, men tend to take a “back seat” to our wives. As Parker Palmer observed “the soul is shy.” This is very true of men.
It comes as a breath of fresh air, for men to be able to acknowledge their weakness and feelings of powerlessness, knowing that God works through weakness. We are reminded of the words Paul received from the Lord, when he was struggling with his weakness. The Lord said to Paul, “‘My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.’ Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness.” (II Cor 12:9 – The Message). What a relief for men. We can actually give our weakness to Christ and gain his strength
I was reminded of this fact, when I was meditating recently in Hebrews. Several times writer of Hebrews exhorts us to be confident. Again because our male tendencies, we have a hard time admitting that we don’t feel very confident in our walk with God. We wonder more about failure then walking humbly and loving with the Lord. In Hebrews 4:16 we have this encouragement given to us. “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb. 4:16) The Message puts it this way. “So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help”
What can we take from this verse? It seems that God far more ready to give us the help that we need then we are willing to ask. We are able to come with confidence. Th help that we need is available. But to receive the help, we must admit our weakness and need. Grace and mercy are available to those who have a need. So God doesn’t expect us to come to him all “cleaned up and polished.” We are to come as we are. We come in our need and and our weakness. It is then that we can experience the strength and power of God in our lives.